Club Car in Mamaroneck - Dont Bother Making a Reservation
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"
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.
Would you have gone if the Times hadn't just reviewed them?
next week, we'll hear Grace's Table is "too crowded".
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.
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....
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.
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.