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Jun 13, 2012 09:29 PM

Please help settle debate! [moved from New Jersey board]

Tonight four of us ate at a fairly new place (opened Dec 2011) two of us have become regulars there and the two of our guests (family) were 1st timers. It's an upscale restaurant with a sommelier, wine room, semi-known chef, etc. but not crazy expensive. Say $50pp wih 2 drinks.

I ordered two apps as my meal: salad and shrimp. I loved the salad; and hated the shrimp. I ate two shrimp and was done. There was nothing wrong with the execution of the plate but I didn't care for it.

My table carried on about me not eating it....and the server comped my shrimp. I was so embarrassed.

My table said, "if you don't like something you should complain."

I say, "if the kitchen messes up, I will complain; but if I just decide I don't care for something, that's on me."


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  1. As someone who has worked his entire life in the food industry, my thoughts are .....given the details you provided, you were correct and the others were wrong.

    9 Replies
            1. re: PotatoHouse


              and your companions should not have carried on like that. (coming from a person that hates it when people pay too much attention to what I have or have not eaten for no other reason then to use it as a topic of conversaton)

      1. re: fourunder

        I agree, if the food was correctly done, and you just happened to dislike its taste, it is not the restaurant's fault. I would not wish to be comped, if the management offered the chance at another dish and the timing would work well for the group, I would consider that. FOH should have offered.
        I am sorry you were embarrassed. But you were correct.

        Part of being a CH is that we like to try new things, some are hits for our tastes, some are misses. The only fault for that is our palate. But no, you don't complain to the restaurant, for how your taste reacted.

            1. Personally, if I simply don't like something due to my own preference, I don't eat much of it (it's rare that I dislike anything so much that I can't give it a chance). Honestly, I can't stand people who are generally inclined to bitch - those who have embraced being the squeaky wheel to gain advantage in their daily lives. It's simply distasteful to me.

              It reminds me of a time we were out to dinner and a pair of women were seated nearby. One, in particular, had her volume set a few notches above pleasant so that the entire room had to try not to hear her. As she shared her meal selection with the waiter, most of us were also made privy to it. Personally, I thought she had made a good choice with the gazpacho . . . .

              We watched the waiter bring the ladies their soups as I awaited my chance to ask for a digestif. He stopped by our table, and I began to order when we were interrupted. "This soup is awful. It's ice cold. My God it's horrible." She shouted in our direction.

              This thread may get moved to another board, but somehow I wonder if the Jersey perspective may be a bit different than others.

              1 Reply
              1. re: MGZ

                Same basic experience. Guy orders steak au poivre--then calls back waiter later to say--you got it, someone put too much pepper on my steak.

              2. You are right. Actually, I applaud you for your behavior. If you don't like something, it is not always the restaurant's fault.

                1. If you don't like a well executed dish, it is not the fault of the restaurant, nor is it your fault either.

                  it just happens.


                  1. In retail, if one buys a dress one likes in the store and then gets it home only to realize one does not really like the color at all, one may return it within a specified amount of time. This is because the retail establishment is able to return it to the sales floor and eventually sell it. This cannot be done with food that has been cooked. If the food in question is prepared in such a way that it is inedible, the restaurant should be notified of it immediately and the dish remade or something else offered in its place. Sometimes a restaurant will comp the dish. That said, your situation is very different. You did not like the dish based on personal taste. You acted in the absolute right way, while your dining companions took the "customer is always right" edict to a level that it was never meant to rise to.