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Apr 30, 2009 07:08 AM

Striped Bass T-Town-insulting!

I was meeting friends in Tarrytown last night and were looking for a place to dine. Someone suggested Striped Bass so I went online, checked out the menu and saw that they had a $25.00 prix fixe dinner and the choices were ok enough for us to choose. With the economy being what it is, finding a good deal for dining out is a big plus. We walk into the restaurant and were standing there waiting to be seated. Finally the waiter sat us. Looked like there was only 1 waiter and 3 tables were filled. Another 7mins go by before he comes back to take a drink order. At that point we were only given the regular menu so we asked for the prix fixe menu. He stated that they stopped the menu 2 weeks ago. I said that it was still on the website. He got the manager. A young woman wearing camoflage shorts and sneakers witha lot of disheveled hair came to our table and said "can I help you". Side note...the money wasn't the issue and we were willing to order off the regular menu, It was just the point that was the draw to get us in to a restaurant that we never tried before. We stated to her about the website she said "oh, yeah, we stopped that 2 weeks ago and just took it off the site today". My friend asked her if the could honor the special. She said no but we could "eat outside where it is cheaper". What an insult to us! Here we were, 3 well dressed women(not that this matters)but more than able to pay the price of dinner, being insulted to go outside where they sell hotdogs and burgers. We all looked at eachother and walked out. We went down the street to Sunset Cove and had a great meal(really great). Our bill for the 3 of us was $200 apps/entrees/drinks/coffee/dessert. So it was never really about the money. It's amazing to me that a place(striped bass) can charge the prices that they do, with cafeteria silverware, mismatched bread plates and an unprofessional staff and expect to bring in the people. I guess they do well just because of the location. Word of mouth is a powerful vehicle and I will pass along my bad experience as well as the great experience that I had at Sunset Cove.

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  1. I completely agree with you, Chef. And although there are those who post negatively about Sunset Cove, I have never had other than a pleasant, delicious dining experience there. As an added bonus, last time I had dinner there, so did former NY Yankee Bernie Williams...I am looking forward to dining outside on the delightful terrace soon!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Marge

      Bernie Williams gets around. He had dinner at BLT in White Plains a couple of weeks ago. Sat at the bar and was very pleasant to all.

    2. just to play devil's advocate, wasn't it possible that the prix fixe dinner was a "special selection" of dishes that they didn't necessarily have ingredients for or weren't necessarily prepared to make that night? And figuring out on the fly which things that *were* on the menu that night might be cobbled together to be a prix fixe meal without breaking the restaurant's bank might be difficult. I agree it's annoying going someplace thinking one thing when it's another, but I can also see the other side of it. And maybe the suggestion to eat outside was honestly meant "in case you might not want to spend quite so much".

      3 Replies
      1. re: DGresh

        I appreciate you point of view and being in the food biz both front and back of house for over 20yrs, she could have handled it a lot better than how she did. After explaining that we had never dined there and the draw of the prix fixe brought us in, even a more humble apology would have sufficed. I personally, as a manager, would have apologized profusly about the website mistake, gone over the top in welcoming my potential new regulars and would have even offered to buy the table a drink as a way to show how glad I am that my place was chosen and that my guests would leave with a good feeling after a bad begining...but that's just how I roll.

        1. re: ChefDell

          yeah I can see that-- it is kind of inexcusable to have way out of date stuff on the website in this day and age. So much depends on tone, and it sounds like the tone was not good here. Just thinking that not offering a prix fix is prob. understandable under the circumnstances.

          1. re: DGresh

            DGresh, BTW, I totally agree about your point of them not having the menu items, therefore making the possibilty of making the prix fixe menu impossible. It was the way they went about it. I don't think the owner would be very happy about how his choice of manager is handling business.

      2. When I was planning a party I looked at both Stripped Bass and Sunset Cove (having frequently dined at both), the professionalism and courtesy I received at Sunset Cove far exceeded that of SB.

        In the end, all my guests were more than impressed with the food/location, all in all, I have become a total SC convert and was extremely pleased with my choice!

        1. I can definitely relate. My experience with S Bass staff was from professional (from gum chewing hostess, to (loud) cellphone-in-ear waiters). Food was definitely lousy, and the pricing was surprisingly high (I guess my perception was in relation to the quality of the food). It's as if they've been around so long- that they don't even bother trying anymore. Too bad. I've gone to SC and have been pleased, though I now go elsewear for seafood...

          1 Reply
          1. re: gourmandette

            I've had my issues with the hostess also at Striped Bass, very unprofessional. I haven't been back since last summer but I hope they took care of that smell in the parking lot, between that and the hostess it was a turn off. Fortunately we had a nice day to sit outside and the wait staff was fine and the food was ok. They have prime real estate there, you think they would make the most of it.