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Feb 12, 2013 07:56 AM

Bar menu in the dining room at Bergamot

Four of us trudged over to Bergamot on Sunday around 5:45 pm intending to eat on the bar. Only one place open so we opted for a table, only to find out that the bar menu is not available at tables. Two of the four of us are bar regulars. The dining room was not very busy (this was before 6 pm, right after the blizzard).

I'm not slamming them - I am asking for reactions from those of you who are more knowledgeable and/or experienced in restaurant management. Is this common practice? Should they have made an exception?

BTW, we ordered lightly (two of us were not planning on eating dinner so early) and were treated with total professionalism and respect. When we left, the bar was still full and there were many, many empty tables.

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  1. I would not expect a restaurant's bar menu to be available in the main dining room.

    In your situation (empty room, full bar, weird night) I'd ask if they'd let us order off the bar menu *before* being seated at a table, and I wouldn't be surprised or disappointed if the answer were no.

    1 Reply
    1. re: emannths

      We did confirm that the bar menu was not available before we were seated, so we took the table with full knowledge.

    2. As a general rule, I think the concept is fine. Post the blizzard, much like craigie and west bridge, it probably would have been intelligent to advertise a discounted pre fixe menu given the fact they were unlikely to drum up that much business. That said, i think it was a poor decision price wise, but not in any normative sense, to not make the offer.

      I get generally of course why restaurants don't offer a bar menu at dining tables, and i think this was just a bad bet on their part that, even if they didn't have tables at 6, they possibly might fill those tables in the next hour or two, such that that would be the better business.

      There is room to say post-blizzard there might be a claim for being more accomating, but of course the converse of that is, post the blizzard, they've just experience a significant loss in expected revenue, so if they thought they were going to fill the table, they're in more of a dire need to do so than usual.

      but, yeah, ultimately, probably overly optimistic to expect that to have been the case, smart move would've been to go the discounted prix fixe (or similar) route for all that sunday.

      2 Replies
      1. re: valcfield

        The prix fix was on offer - one of us had just dined on a weeknight a few weeks ago and did that. But three courses was more than any of us were looking for. In the end, it was a small tab for a four top and they were completely gracious.

        1. re: LauraBear

          a special prix fixe? i was in particular referencing the fact that craigie was offering a 'neighborhood menu' discount to 40 from their typical 3 course price (with mostly the same menu) as did (and still is, tonight) west bridge (though in their case, its a more restrict menu, and they don't typically have a 3 course option).

          so anyway, more was just saying it would probably business wise have made sense (if they didn't) to have some special deal for the blizzard night/s, but that i still thought it was reasonable to not serve the bar menu at tables.

      2. It is extremely shortsighted on their part given the situation.