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Sep 28, 2009 07:29 PM

Bad experience art Sparrow

First off let me preface this review by saying I know Sparrow has gotten rave reviews on this board so by posting my experience I know I will be subject to criticism. It appears to me that sparrow has fallen victim of its own success. first off, I avoid restaurants during peak hours as I have a speacial needs child who can grow easily impatient. However, this past Sunday we had to be out of the house from 2-4. seizing the opportunity to enjoy brunch I called to make a reservation for myself and children. We were told that they would not accept reservations for fewer than 4 people. the person on the phone assured me that at 2 the crowd would be thinned out and we should not have to wait too long. Upon arriving at 2 there was a considerable line up. I was asked at the door if I had a reservation. I told the young lady that since we were three we could not make a reservation and that 2 would be a good time to come. She told me the wait would be 15 minutes. My kids watched as people enjoyed their meals and appeared to linger. after 30 minutes we were assured the next table up would be ours. The owner came over to apologise for the wait. I told him we had tried to make a reservation and his comment was that they were using the system that worked for them and that ment no reservations for parties less than 4. I said I understood that the weather was particularly bad probably contributed to the crowd. Actually, he said the popularity was due to positive reviews the restaurant had received. after 45 minutes we were assured that the next table would be ours. sure enough, a family of four walked in with a reservation and were immediately seated. We left and headed to Lemeac. Well treated, solid service great donuts. My review is simply to point out that you are definiately at a disadvantage if you are a party of three. Also, can you really expect a special needs child to wait for an indeterminate amount of time while others around are gleefully eating and comfortably seated. Not family or kid friendly for brunch.

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  1. Sorry for your bad experience. What an odd reservation policy. Guess we won't be trying them for brunch since it's usually just my wife and me when we're in town.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rcianci

      It is too bad about the odd reservation policy. If there's just two of you and you don't mind sitting at the bar like my friend & I did, you may get seated faster. We were there at 11 on a Sunday and were seated at the bar immediately.

      1. re: rcianci

        It's not just the minimum of four persons that's odd. According to their Facebook page, the only way to make a reservation is to send them a text message on a cellphone. In other words, screw you if you only have a land line. Sounds like a stealth way of keeping out -- i.e. discriminating against -- people they don't consider partying-type enough or hip/connected enough. While I can't condone not playing by the rules, looks like I'll just be sitting this game out.

      2. Sorry for the bad experience but I was kind of glad this wasn't about the food.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Evilbanana11

          That's the same thing I was thinking :o It's unfortunate that customers are standing at the door unsatisfied with their policies, but if that's the only negative thing people have to say about them at the moment, well... that's pretty good.

        2. bummer, I live a ways away and probably wouldn't chance it without a reso. Sorry you were treated that way, glad Lemeac worked out for you.

          1. i went a week ago and was told the same thing on the phone. we showed up at 2 pm as the girl on the phone had recommended and said the wait would be minimal.... when we showed up she said that we would have to wait an hour... so we put our name down and went to Bouchonne to have a bottle of Savennières.... came back an hour later and had a very enjoyable brunch at the bar food, staff, and service were all above par....

            while i liked it a lot my regular spot is Griffintown, but in truth it's worth the detour for the food.

            1 Reply
            1. re: KzenCass

              So you can put your name down in person but not make a reservation over the phone? What's the difference? Seems like a dumb policy to me, and little things like that could bite 'em in the behind when the hype wears off.

            2. Shit happens with restaurants without reservation (for small parties), even if you call ahead and they tell you it should be ok, people can still come out and "flood" the place in the meantime anyway.

              iMO, one should approach such restaraunts with a different frame of mind, and accept the fact that there can be a an un-expected line-up.