Murray Circle at Cavallo Point (Sausalito): An Over-Hyped, Over-Priced Disappointment
What a disaster; Last night, dined with three other couples for our traditional, year-end feast which has taken place at the ever-reliable and festive Buckeye Roadhouse in Mill Valley for the past many years. It wasn't long before we all rued the decision to change venues.
8:30 reservation, not seated until 9:30 and although the manager indicated many times that our table was "almost ready," not once, before or after we were seated, did he offer us appetizers or something to tide everyone over. First morsel of food (bread) hit the table at 10pm.
Portions were ridiculously small and while the food was tasty, $200 per couple (we brought our own wine....) for decent food and some of the worst service we've ever experienced at a "high-end" restaurant was outrageous. Maybe it was an off night but rather than burning another $200 bill, next time we'll go back to old reliable (the Buckeye) or choose a place where the manager and staff have been schooled on how to treat a group that's dropping over $1k for a special night out.
Maybe they figure the view/location will make up for the crap service. My suggestion: Pick up a picnic lunch or dinner in Mill Valley or Sausalito some Spring or Summer night, bring a blanket, an iPod and some speakers.... eat while enjoying the spectacular scenery -- after writing a $200 check to your favorite charity!
Sorry ot hear you had such a bum experience. Murray Circle is perhaps my favorite restaurant (along with Sebo) in the Bay Area. I have experienced service glitches and service is indeed the weak point at MC but I've never had to wait like you did.
However, the portions are in line with the pricing. The menu seems designed for 3 courses + dessert if you want it and you shouldn't expect a full size entree at ~$18 at a shazzy resort. A waiter should have told you about the portion sizing in advance so you know how much to order based on your appetite. I would have asked for a manager long before waiting an hour (I'm not as patient as you). I would also have expected that they buy you a round of drinks while you wait, to make up for the delay in seating you. (I've had drinks comped for long delays in seating at a number of places)
What "tasty" food did you guys get? When I was last there I had a soup that was a vegetable puree that had duck confit in it. It was just the thing for a cold night.
M Italian teacher (a vegetarian) went there last week with her husband The only vegetarian option was the gnocchi. She ordered that and her husband the halibut. The waiter asked (with great pride) "Is that all you want? Our portions are quite small." Indeed! $18 dollars for 9 gnocchi. Incidentally, the singular of gnocchi is "gnocco" and means chump, or dolt. And that's what she felt like.