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Club Car in Mamaroneck - Dont Bother Making a Reservation

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Gramercy Foodie May 12, 2012 05:55 AM

Anyone trying making a reservation here recently? Wife and I made reservations for this past Friday evening along with another couple. Had an 845pm reservation which we had made Monday or Tuesday. We were running a bit late so had the courtesy to call the restaurant as we were leaving the house and told them we might be 10 minutes late. They said no problem as they were running a bit late. We enter the restaurant at 9pm and it is PACKED. Looks great, good scene, etc. We check in with the hostess and are told they couldn't seat us, it would be 20-30 minutes. Recognizing both couples had babysitters who needed to leave at 11pm, we weren't sure what to do. Next to us was another gentleman who was trying to get seated who told us he had a 750pm reservation and still hadnt been seated.

We asked the hostess why we couldnt be seated....her response: "we run 20-40 minutes late on all our reservations, thats just the way it is. a reservation doesnt guarantee you a time, it just guarantees you will eat at some point"

WTF??????

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  1. s
    Sonnyno May 13, 2012 10:52 AM

    Well, perhaps it’s worth at least one reservation since it seems like everyone was either there or wants to be there. My companion and I thought we would also join the fray and went this past Friday night. It was a mob scene by the time we left at 8:45. If the hoards around the bar, that seemed six deep, were waiting to eat rather than just waiting for the night’s fun to begin, I can see the disappointment.

    We arrived at 6:50 for 7 PM reservations made one week in advance and were seated immediately. The restaurant surprisingly seemed about 90% full at the time. There are a number of nicely appointed tables in the center of the restaurant for parties of four or more but dining for two is along the walls. Adjoining tables are very close and seem to be frequently moved together to accommodate larger groups. Facing the walls, which one of two must do, reduces the ambience to zero as there is nothing visual beyond your companion than brick walls and canvas curtains. I felt a bit claustrophobic. The din behind me sounded like Grand Central Terminal but despite this, conversation with my companion was actually easier than many other noisy restaurants. With such a crowd I thought we would be in for a rough night but service throughout the evening was actually very good, including the unsolicited presentation of the check. Perhaps there was a desperate motivation to move tables.

    Since there wasn’t much interest on our part for the appetizers listed, we both ordered the gorgonzola chopped salad. There was a lot of it. It was tasty but a bit strange, (seemed like the whole thing was put through some type of grinder to get lots of small bits). I would not have it again. Since we wanted fish, the special sounded a bit more adventurous than the menu items so we ordered filet of sole stuffed with crabmeat. This entree came out like two ice cream scoops on the plate with a vegetable. The crabmeat stuffing seemed like it was ground up with something, perhaps a lot of bread, so it was filling and not that appealing. It had a very spicy flavor which I did like. Asparagus with it was perfectly cooked. However, overall the entrée was not a memorable selection and I would not have that again either. Now I’m not one to be surprised by sticker shock with restaurant specials but I think it was priced at $36, which for that entrée was a stretch. A chocolate dessert was good.

    O.K. !! Now that it’s out of my system, I can follow Gramercy Foodie’s advice of “don’t bother making a reservation”. I can go back to my favorite ethnic restaurants with their varied tastes and that far away place atmosphere. I can sip my wine while I think I’m in Italy, Greece or wherever else and not Grand Central which, to come to think of it, I have been in just a bit too often.

    1. w
      weedy May 13, 2012 03:04 PM

      Would you have gone if the Times hadn't just reviewed them?
      next week, we'll hear Grace's Table is "too crowded".
      Big shock.

      Odds are it will die down... but the way they put it ("...a reservation doesnt guarantee you a time") is certainly not acceptable or professional. A simple "I'm sorry" would have been appropriate.

      1 Reply
      1. re: weedy
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        Gramercy Foodie May 13, 2012 06:43 PM

        Had heard about the place before the review and thought it was a good concept. Didnt think about the NYT review when we made reservation, just wanted to try something new. That said, a reservation is a reservation. Its not like I am writing about not being able to get a table b/c I called noon on Friday for a prime time table....

      2. a
        amcee May 14, 2012 07:32 AM

        We foolishly made reservations for Friday night as well. 8:30 reservations got us a table at 9:30. By that time and much champagne later... i think the food was good. My thoughts on the place: mini mini mini dresses worn by bartenders set the tone that this is a party place. This was confirmed by all the packs of single ladies and single men, the DJ that popped up and the removing of dining tables which started about 10:30. It looks to me like they are following the Chat19 formula. Family and couples dinning until a certain time and then it's a like that SNL skit of the Roxbury Guys.

        1. chowhound22 May 14, 2012 09:57 AM

          We went last Friday at 7 and were seated on time. Both the salmon and wasabi encrusted pork chop we ordered were delicious, the salmon perfectly done. The wasabi crust could have been hit with the broiler a bit longer to give it a nice brown crust, but it was still good, as were the side veggies. The salmon had roasted beets with wild rice and the pork had crispy green beans.

          Wine is really pricey here, 3x retail, so we each had just a glass.

          The room is beautifully restored, great bar, very big scene. The only design flaw are these dumb curtains that make you feel like someone died and it was too depressing to let light in. Too bad, because one side overlooks the park and golden light was streaming through the trees. There should be a way of opening the curtains when it's not too bright outside.

           
          1. s
            Scott_R May 14, 2012 12:04 PM

            Reminds me of the Seinfeld bit about reservations.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7uvtt...

            1. p
              pobo May 15, 2012 03:35 PM

              Hey all! Haven't been on Chowhound since they changed they way the boards are organized. However, just had to chime in re: Club Car. I have never been a huge fan of Brian MacMennimins food (Oyster House in Larchmont, MacMennamin's and Post House in New Rochelle). However, this time I think he hit it out of the park. We had a reservation for last Thursday, it was our wedding anniversary. I love the space, the crowd was friendly, the service was quite good (unlike previous experiences with his restaurants) and I thought the prices were fine. My husband had the stuffed sole with lobster/crabmeat and loved it. I had the panko/mint crusted lamb chops. We were very happy with the food and would certainly return here again.

              1. w
                wincountrygirl Nov 11, 2012 04:40 AM

                We went last night - a group of 6. Having read these posts I made a 6:30 reservation and we were seated immediately. I do see why people dining later don't get seated. We did not leave till 9:30 - food took a ridiculous amount of time to arrive. First we ordered our drinks and three of us, who ordered different wines, not only didn't like the wines we were served but found them undrinkable. I ordered an oaky California Chard and got a french. They brought us different wines and we were satisfied. The wine my husband ordered was out so they opened a "special" bottle and it was delicious. She even left the rest of the bottle with him which had another glass in it. Immediately after we ordered some servers started putting food in front of us - it was for another table. Much later, when our food came appetizers were good - I did not order one but tasted. The fois gras was excellent and the portion huge. Unfortunately, I don't remember what most people had because - well you'll see in a minute. I forgot to mention that the bus boy decided to clear our bread plates. Mine had half a piece left so I told him to please leave it. What's up with that. The time between our appetizers and main course was very, very long. And of course we were drinking a lot of wine. Actually, the waitress came over at one point and said sorry for the wait - would you like another glass of wine and I said yes, if its' comped. She said she'd see what she could do and she did - it was, but, having not eaten for so long I really couldn't even force it down. I was toasted. When the food finally came, my panko and mint crusted lamp chops were very rare - I ordered medium so I sent them back for a bit more fire. Two had the chateaubriand and it was delicious. My husband got fries with his instead of the mashed potatoes that came with it because he has a dairy allergy and that was the highlight of my night. Any time I can just have fries for dinner I'm a happy girl. One person had the salmon and loved it, one steak and another lamb chop, which she did not care for mainly because they were loin chops and she thought they would be rib. When my lamb chops finally arrived, you guessed it, they were so well done as to be inedible. For obvious reasons I chose not to order a new main and opted for more ketchup for the fries. Our waitress took the lamb chops off the bill , and in all, when the bill arrived I think we only paid for one drink each. We opted out of dessert as we wanted to get home before breakfast. Our bill for 6 with all the comps came out to $372 without tip because of all the freebees. In all, the place is very nice but way too crowded for me and too noisy and when I go out to eat, I like to actually eat something so we won't be going back. That's all for now. I'm hungry and need breakfast!!

                5 Replies
                1. re: wincountrygirl
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                  cstumiller Nov 11, 2012 05:05 AM

                  sounds like an interesting place. I might have to go, it might be an inexpensive night if I play my cards correct.

                  1. re: cstumiller
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                    foodlad Nov 11, 2012 07:03 AM

                    What part of that post makes you think the place is (a) interesting or (b) inexpensive? Beats me. Went there shortly after it opened and thought the food was sort of ordinary, the service absurd, and the prices too high. Nice restoration of the train station, though.

                  2. re: wincountrygirl
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                    weedy Nov 11, 2012 08:59 PM

                    well, if they comped your poorly cooked lamb, then really that was dinner for FIVE for more than $70 per person.
                    That would have to be REALLY good to be even a little interesting.

                    1. re: weedy
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                      wincountrygirl Nov 12, 2012 03:08 AM

                      Actually even more than that as several drinks were also comped. It was very expensive, I thought and if you're going to charge those prices then service needs to be excellent. They are trying to be a "hip" restaurant and they actually turn it into a club later in the evening. They need to decide what they are and stick with it.

                    2. re: wincountrygirl
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                      liza219 Nov 11, 2012 11:40 PM

                      My G-d. Sounds like a waste of time, regardless of what's comp'd. Thank you for the detailed summary.......I know not to waste my
                      time, !

                    3. m
                      mariannerklimchuk Apr 11, 2013 07:55 PM

                      So wanted to love this place... No Jonny Walker Black, flat Diet Coke...first choice on menu no longer offered - all of this and you would think the Manager or Chef would come out and apologize... provide some offering - - but no - they leave the poor (adorable) waiter - to relay the continuous bad news... even the food was mediocre...Had planned to book another celebratory event there for May but... alas - will take our business elsewhere...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: mariannerklimchuk
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                        wincountrygirl Apr 12, 2013 04:10 AM

                        At least they gave us a bunch of stuff when we went and the messed up......... what a mess that place is. It's pretty though!

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