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Will I regret my res at David Burke Townhouse?

loratliff Jan 11, 2011 01:49 PM

A search didn't bring up a lot...

Made a restaurant week dinner res for David Burke Townhouse. I can't ever see myself paying full price there, but the RW menu looks surprisingly good with a lot of variety (which is good for my fairly non-adventurous, non-foodie friend who is accompanying me). The space looks gorgeous too... But, Yelp review are pretty lukewarm.

Should I scrap it?

  1. c
    City Kid Feb 22, 2011 08:18 AM

    Had an odd, i.e., not good, experience at Townhouse on Sunday. They did participate in the extended RW and we reserved for Sunday lunch, explicitly listed on both Open Table and nycgo.com. When we asked about the RW menu we got a dismissive "we're only serving dinner"...they had apparently been trying to correct the "mistake" (on two separate websites?) to no avail for weeks. When spoke with the manager, he very unapologetically, as if he were doing us a favor, offered us a couple of options for a RW menu, not including many of the more interesting items listed online. We observed other tables nearby inquiring about the RW menu also and then, somewhat embarrassed, ordering off the regular prix fixe...The service was initially quite unpleasant, it took me a half hour and 3 tries to get a cup of coffee, cold when it finally arrived. Very long wait for the first course. We have liked Townhouse and Fishtail, both RW and non, in the past, but I don't think we'll be rushing back. I wrote an email to David Burke but haven't yet heard back.

    10 Replies
    1. re: City Kid
      b
      bkfan16 Feb 22, 2011 09:31 AM

      My experience yesterday was similar - asked about the RW menu and got the explanation of the regular prix fixe lunch menu. Instead of arguing, we just ordered off of that. It was fine, but was looking forward to the other options listed online. We had to ask for wine and cocktail menus a while after getting seated - we were never asked if we'd like a drink or anything like that. Dessert came out, but we were never asked at any point if we'd like coffee or anything else for that matter. I did enjoy what I ate, but also not rushing back.

      1. re: bkfan16
        c
        City Kid Feb 22, 2011 09:56 AM

        Seems awfully short-sighted for them to turn people off this way. Until Sunday I was a fan. Simply too many good choices in NYC to bother with a place that can't treat customers right. And surely they must have had time to fix the "mistake" about RW lunch. It strikes me as bait and switch.

      2. re: City Kid
        j
        JC2 Feb 23, 2011 01:40 PM

        The exact same thing happened to us during last RW. The website showed that you could get anything on the menu (or something like that) and when we got there the choice was very limited. When I asked the waiter, he said that was only until the day before. But when I checked the website the next day, they still showed the broader choices. I sent an email and was given an invitation to return for some amount off the menu price. I didn't love what I ate at any price, so I didn't go back.

        1. re: JC2
          c
          City Kid Feb 23, 2011 02:48 PM

          This is quite a game they seem to play, very dishonest. When I was there, the difference between the RW menu they were supposed to be offering and the prix fixe lunch was $15...multiply that by by X number of people who come thinking they will order the RW menu but do not pursue it when they are told they can't...a nice chunk of change for the restaurant. But not nice and not legit.

          1. re: JC2
            d
            Dingod Feb 24, 2011 07:32 AM

            The exact same thing happened my wife and me when we came for a RW dinner before the extension. We arrived for our dinner reservations after reading the menu online which had a 3 course RW menu for $35, the price of all RW dinner specials. We were informed, after they sat us, that they were only participating in RW lunch. Why the $35 dollar price on their posted menu, then? They offered to reserve a table at their steakhouse down the street that is participating in RW dinner. I'm not too interested in steak and asparagus I can make at home so we ended up at Aquavit.

            I don't think this is isolated considering my experience happened during the initial RW and the number of posters here who have complained. Shame on DB.

            1. re: Dingod
              loratliff Feb 24, 2011 09:37 AM

              Wow, that's terrible!

              Guess I should be grateful we ended up skipping it!

              1. re: Dingod
                c
                City Kid Feb 24, 2011 02:24 PM

                Shame on them indeed...I went from being a fan to feeling I will never return now that I see how widespread this scam apparently is.

                1. re: City Kid
                  b
                  bkfan16 Feb 25, 2011 07:57 AM

                  City Kid - have you heard back from anyone at the restaurant? After I saw that you emailed David Burke, I decided to send an email to the manager of DBT. as well. Took a couple of days, but he just called me back and couldn't have been nicer. He definitely made up for the poor service that day.

                  1. re: bkfan16
                    c
                    City Kid Feb 25, 2011 09:13 AM

                    Interesting, bkfan, I have not yet heard back from either David Burke or the manager listed online. I was there on Sunday so, given that it's Friday I doubt that I will. The pattern that has emerged about their practices from this thread is very disappointing.

                    1. re: City Kid
                      b
                      bkfan16 Feb 25, 2011 09:27 AM

                      I was there on Monday, emailed on Tuesday, sent a follow-up today and got a phone call soon after. He wasn't making excuses and more than made good in my book.

          2. s
            scotty27 Feb 8, 2011 03:29 PM

            Probably.

            1. loratliff Jan 11, 2011 06:07 PM

              Thanks for both posts; very reassuring and good to hear.

              We're going for RW dinner, which looks to be a good value considering that most of the entrees are close to $30. Here's the RW lunch menu: http://www.nycgo.com/restaurantweek/w.... I imagine dinner will be similar, if not better.

              5 Replies
              1. re: loratliff
                b
                bkfan16 Feb 8, 2011 09:24 AM

                Did you end up going? How was it? I'm planning a trip there in a couple of weeks for the extended RW lunch. I know there is the prix fixe normally, but I don't get much opportunity for weekday lunches and really like the RW menu for DBT.

                1. re: bkfan16
                  loratliff Feb 8, 2011 09:50 AM

                  I didn't, but not because of my initial concerns—was called away for a freelance job in Albany for the weekend. Grrrrr....

                  Might try and make it there for lunch since they're participating in the extension.

                  1. re: loratliff
                    Phil Ogelos Feb 9, 2011 01:27 PM

                    I actually went to lunch there today (Weds.) because, having just read the props for it over the weekend, I found their awning staring me in the face as I left my dentist's office. I couldn't not go in.

                    Very comfortable room and -as advertised- a very nice pair of prix-fixe meals on offer: $24 for a limited, but still nice selection, and $38 for one choice of any dish from each of the three sections of the menu, with only a few supplemental charges -a generosity I've rarely seen before.

                    Anyway, all this to say that I'd return, but -sorry, lora & bkfan- they're not participating in the RW extension; I asked expressly.

                    1. re: Phil Ogelos
                      loratliff Feb 9, 2011 02:37 PM

                      They should probably let NYCGo.com know that they're not continuing to participate, as they're still on the list.

                      1. re: loratliff
                        Phil Ogelos Feb 9, 2011 07:35 PM

                        I ate at the bar, lora, and it was the bartender who told me they weren't extending -she could have been mistaken, but I didn't get that feeling from what I saw. That said, the prix-fixe menus strike me as pretty good -not far different, I'm guessing, from what the RW-version must have been and at the same price.

              2. f
                fooder Jan 11, 2011 05:42 PM

                It often feels like I'm the only one with good things to say about DBT. I used to eat there a good amount back when they had a dinner prix fixe for 55 and a tasting menu for 75 which were great values.

                I haven't been able to find a RW dinner menu online. If you're going for lunch, I would recommend using the RW time to go somewhere else since DBT offers a prix fixe lunch for 24 regularly (which I highly recommend).

                The food is not going to blow you away, but it is solid and there will be some whimsical and amusing presentations, such as the cheesecake lollipop tree. At the RW price, my guess is that it will be good for you and your non-adventurous friend, and that you will actually be fed, as opposed to some other places that have regular prices on the high end.

                1 Reply
                1. re: fooder
                  l
                  lacontessa Jan 11, 2011 06:08 PM

                  Restaurant week menus are available here:
                  http://www.nycgo.com/?event=view.arti...

                2. c
                  City Kid Jan 11, 2011 02:03 PM

                  I don't trust Yelp reviews much. I have been there during RW and I enjoyed it: very good food and service in lovely surroundings.

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