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Nov 4, 2008 04:57 PM

Metuchen INN

I have been to metuchen inn numerous times, have loved it, thought the food was awesome, have even posted on this board praising it....BUT, let me tell you about a VERY negative experience....

Had reservations for 7:30pm. Showed about approx 7:35pm. Me and my dining partner were told to have a seat at the bar as the table was not yet ready, okay, no big deal, we did, and had wonderful conversation.

A couple of times within the next few moments, we were approached by varoius waiters/waitresses, asking if we would like a drink. That was very professional.
However, a few minutes later (as time passed~30 minutes), the owner, a wonderful gentleman from past experience, informed us that "he does not discriminate, and that the table will be available very shortly:
1. Ok, this was very odd, as I was uncertain what he meant by 'he does not discriminate'
Did he mean that he does not discriminate among parties of 2? (a couple of parties of 4 came in after us and had already been seated),
2. or did he mean he does not discriminate among 2 men coming into the establishment? (BTW- he was a friend, nothing further)
Regardless, I was not clear, but it did not mater, I thought that was nice of Constantine to offer that apology.
At this time however, he also stated "...I will make up for this...."

Finally, after 40 minutes, we were seated. Now, mind you, the place was jammed. Apparently, they were very busy.

A few minutes after being seated, the waitress approached us, and asked if we needed drinks. Certaintly, I did and ordered a HOUSE cabernet. My DINING partner ordered a water. this was brought rather quickly. Bread, on the other hand, was hard to come by-eventually, we received some bread.

Several more minuted went by, 10-15-20 minutes, no further bread, no further request for our order. At this point, we were literally shouting for the 'bread' waiters for additional starch sustainenance. A couple came over, and thought I cannot recall the details, we were eventually brought another piece each, and given some excuse that the bread was rather slow that evening (no kidding).

Our order was taken. period.

At that point, we realized that at least several other parties were going on (including the 'wine tasting' event recently organized)

A few moments later, a waiter approached us an informed us that the wonderful fish that my dining partner order would take a littel longer to cook to perfection. Ok, understandable....but we were slowly losing patience.

In the interim, a salad was brought out by an elderly woman, apparently on the house. Nice.

FINALLY (again), our meals were brought out. Now, I ust say, the whole bronzinin was fabuolously deeeeeeeeeeeelicious, as was mine (I cannot recall). A few moments later, Constntine came over and said "...isn't that fish WONDERFUL...", i totally agredd with him, but my partner said "...yes, after I waited 20 minutes more for it..." I themn turned to the owner and said "...The food is wonderful, and I am a regular, however, the service has been very very poor...." He replied that he would "...make it us ot us..."

Needles to say, we received our bill, AND, let me tell you, the expression on my face must have been prioceless when I saw TWO SPECIAL merlots on the bill!!! I quickly cale the waiter over, pointed this out to him. He returned and told us he has taken all drinks off.

Thsi was hardly enough to make us consider even the hint of a tip....a few moments later a sweet waiter came over and apologized for the evening.....I considered this when I provided a $5 tip on the $50 bill. I considered that generous as the service was horrendous, and nothing was ever 'made up to us'

Fair to say, I will not visit Metuchen inn for a very very long time. Sad, as I have been the party to visit during thwe eek when the place has been very very slow......apparently, the are fine when not busy, but I
URGE YOU TO STEER CLEAR ON FRIDAY EVENINGS on wine tasting night or when otherwise busy.....sad....

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  1. Dragonguy: we've been to the MI 3x, 2 was vgood, 1x it wasn't. service was horrible. however, I'll never wait anywhere for a table for that long (im dont like to hang at the bar that long!). you can search for my review. I felt that the MI discrimates in other areas -- specfically handicapped. There is NO ground floor bathroom, no door ramp, etc. Albeit they do not claim to be handicapped access, these items should be addressed. I had a conversation with the manager and she told me it was because the rent the space and didnt have the budget to renovate. Proposterous, they have been open a long time and should make the investment to accomdodate EVERYONE. Fforget the free salad...they should have comped the entire bill. Try Il castello in Woodbridge, food is better and service is great.

    5 Replies
    1. re: nyebaby37


      While it would be nice if the Metuchen Inn was handicapped accessible, there is no law requiring restaurants to be so. If that were the case, many restaurants would have to close because either space or finances or both would not enable them to comply.

      Btw, we had dinner at there once a very long time ago. A totally foregettable experience.

      1. re: RGR

        i know its not a law, i never said it was only that I spoke w/ management about having a bathroom on the first floor. they are not accomodating to many people for that reason in and of itself, many people can't handle steps. MOST restaurants now are accessbile btw, at least the ones I've been too.

        1. re: RGR

          I agree that the service has always been horrible. The food is mediocre. Constatine does not want to renovate the restaurantbecause he does not own the building, so instead of the restaurant being quaint , it is rundown.

          1. re: BigGeorge

            Thanks all. Thanks for the insight. To the one point regarding bathroom, I never thought about it but agree-I could not take my mother there as she could not make it up those steps.

            I am a very patient person and easy going (even that evening!), but I just thought that I was not handled professionally.

            1. re: BigGeorge

              Gotta agree with BigGeorge

              Run down does not equal quaint

              Service has always been a problem......there are far, far too many other restaurants where I can get better food and service and those are where I will choose to spend my increasingly limited dollars