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Jan 22, 2012 04:39 AM

Humiliating experience at Dettera

I went out with three girlfriends to Ambler restaurant week last night. We had an absolutely amazing and fantastic dinner at Massa and were not yet ready to end our night so we walked over to Dettera for a few drinks. When we arrived, we sat at the bar and asked the hostess if we could sit and have our drinks at one of the open downstairs booths. She said that she could instead seat us at a table upstairs. I completely understand that some restaurants have a policy to only seat people ordering meals at a table, so we were very clear to the hostess that we were just getting drinks. When we were seated there were a number of open tables so we figured that is why it was no big deal . When the waiter arrived at our table, we made it clear again that we were just ordering drinks. He said it was no problem at all. We placed our drink order, and kept a menu at the table because we planned to order a few more drinks and perhaps an appettizer later. Honestly, the prices on the wine list and drink menu are really high so we could have easily wound up spending more than some people who order just food. Anyway, after a fairly long wait our drinks do not arrive but a gentleman in a suit came to our table, I am assuming he was the manager. He bent down and told me we needed to leave because only customers ordering food were allowed to sit at tables. I explained to him that we understood that policy, but communicated to his staff each step of the way that our intention was to order drinks, so did not understand why he was bringing this up now and in this matter. His response was that it was their policy and we needed to leave. Immeadiiately. No apology for the miscommunication andconfusion from the staff, no offer to move our drink order to the bar, just a demand to leave. He stood there and stared at our table as we put on our jackets, it felt as if we were being escorted out of the restaurant. Every single other customer in the restaurant was staring at us at this poit, whispering about what was going on. We are four middle aged professional women, and were all completely humiliated by this.

We go to Deterra often, and I have been a huge supporter of the restaurant on these boards. But as a paying customer, and somewhat regular customer, I have never been treated that way before. Again, I understand the policy of not letting people just ordering drinks sit at a table, but I question the judgement of a manager who would treat us that way. I do not plan to go back.

On a positive note, we left and went to Cafe Maida for fabulous cappuccino and nutella gelato and did not let this incident ruin our otherwise fantastic evening. Our dinner at Massa was so good. Their creme bulee was the best I ever had!

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  1. I'm sorry you had that experience, but it confirms my feeling that the management at Dettera is not particularly interested in making its customers feel welcome. Although it's a beautiful restaurant and the food is good most of the time, I've always felt less than valued there.

    1. Wow AG! That was totally uncalled for. I have never felt completely comfortable with the staff at Dettera. We have not been back for a very long time because of the way we have been treated. After all, it is just a restaurant in Ambler. If they don't want to treat the locals respectfully, who do they think will support their restaurant?

        1. re: Buckethead

          As do I.

          that is just inexcuseable! (shakes head in wonder)

          1. The original comment has been removed
            1. Wow. Just, Wow. I'm sorry, you are a restaurant in Ambler. You aren't the freakin' Ritz.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mofo43

                Agreed. The Ritz would have more class.

                1. re: mofo43

                  the Ritz would never have treated customers like this.