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Jul 31, 2013 07:46 PM


Very dissapointed with my experience. The service was unbelievably poor. Had difficulty getting water and silverware A few things we ordered never showed up and they kept bringing us other people's food. Even the bill they brought was not ours. The explanation was they are very busy. If they cannot Handle the volume they should not book the reservation. Will not be going back

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  1. I just never understand when people report on incidents like this. I know it's generally crazy there, but never once have I ever had any situation like that. Yes, sometimes it's hard to catch the eye of a server for a few minutes, but for a whole meal?

    I had another great evening there last Sunday. It was the first time we ever went with another couple, and I do admit, I was a bit concerned that it wouldn't work out, since it is tight there, and they do bring the plates when they're ready, rather than all at the same time. I know that that's pretty unusual, but it all worked out . . . our friends seemed to love it as much as we do. And we were all open to sharing the food, so it was almost like a tasting menu, because among the four of us, we ordered 15 different dishes, and most of us tasted most of them.

    I almost want to say that those who don't like it make it easier for those who do to get a table, but really, I just wish that everyone had the same positive experiences that we do.

    I usually do a plate-by-plate recap, which I didn't this time, but I will mention that the saute of chanterelles, which we had on their Nine Days menu, was still fabulous. The taramasalata was great, as was a very delicious cherry-walnut clafouti. My favorite of the evening, though, was the duck rillettes. Just so tasty.

    One funny thing was that, even though we had told our friends to expect the unexpected, it was still amusing to see them read the menu for the first time and see the totally perplexed expressions on their faces. They just were so unfamiliar with so many of the dishes and descriptive words. But again, we had a great server who explained everything we needed to know about, and who gave great suggestions.

    Sorry your experience was not the same.

    12 Replies
    1. re: queenscook

      I know three families that went there tonight. From that alone, I'm just going to assume that it was really really busy.

      1. re: tamarw

        Why is a busy night an excuse for no water or silverware. The 4 women at the table next to us received a dessert and the server ran off. 10 minutes later they got up themselves to get spoons

      2. re: queenscook

        Why should people only report good experiences. It's sad that you tolerate bad service and pay high prices because you are frum. You can expect to be treated well and have a good experience. Never saw this at mikes bistro.

        1. re: uropsych

          I'm not saying that you shouldn't report your bad experience, but don't put words in MY mouth. I'm not tolerating "bad service;" in fact, I felt the service I had was just fine--I WAS treated well, and we DID have a good experience. On the other hand, the sole time I was at Mike's Bistro, I left hungry; couldn't believe how small the servings were then. (It was six or seven years ago; things may have changed radically for all I know.) But that was a place I never had any interest in returning to, and it falls into the category you highlight: I did not feel I needed to accept that just because I am frum.

          1. re: queenscook

            Uropsych, any negative comments about Pardes on this board are treated rather harshly. It amazes me. Bottom line is that there are service problems at this restaurant. I had a similar experience with my husband, but did not report all the details because I did not want to be identified by the chef. I do love his food. The problems were similar to yours and were in addition to the systemic time issue of how food is served there. Our issues related to silverware, inattention and confusion by the waitstaff, and the mistakes on the bill. I have never experienced these kinds of service issues at an upscale restaurant. But, if Moishe's groupies do not allow the comments to hold weight, then he won't see the need to improve on the staff training. Guys, you have to allow the possibility that there may be a problem that needs correcting. Also, guys, if you are indeed bonafide groupies and repeat customers with multiple guests at your table, you may be getting a different dining experience. That wouldn't be a horrible thing to suggest. Regulars are regulars. Big tables are big tables. Big tables of regulars are, well, money in the bank and the servers know that.

            1. re: cappucino

              I actually spoke with the manager who told me that there were 2 people willing to take my spot if I did not return. Thankfully in NY there are other dining options Just because I am observant of kashrut does not mean that I am obligated to a substandard dining experience

              1. re: cappucino

                Pretty sure you're indirectly speaking to me.

                To be clear, I don't have a problem when people give specific instances of poor service. But I do have a problem when someone says, "I won't go because I had bad service 2 years ago." There was evidence to the contrary that service had improved before that most recent post.

                Clearly, apparently it's not always perfect, but if you're not willing to go because of one bad experience (and then use posts like this as fodder for your argument, ignoring the numerous "We had no such problems and service was great!" posts), yes, people are going to have some trouble with those statements.

                You won't know unless you try. They have good days and bad days, but somehow I feel the good days outweigh the bad days. Does defending them and requesting that you give them a real chance rather than let words speak for themselves make me a groupie? I still think it's the best food the Kosher world has come to know.

              2. re: queenscook

                I have read your comments in the past, so please don't think this is aimed at you, other than this comment has give me a chance to speak about a pet peeve. . I have not been to Pardes, but I have been to Mike's. My comment is how kosher diners always seem to comment on how small the portions are in restaurants. I have been to "regular" restaurants, since I eat dairy out, and let me assure you that portions in those places tend to be smaller than any kosher restaurant.
                I know that when he opened Mike's portions were smaller, but he made them larger. Some demand quality, some quantity. Most people understand that restaurants are beginning to copy European restaurants where the portions are smaller while quality and presentation are the focus.

                  1. re: cappucino

                    Honestly, service is the main reason we haven't been back in so long. (About 2 years). It's hard to run out for dinner, get a babysitter, and not know how long it's going to be. Dinner ended up taking much longer than expected, with servers continuously telling us that the food is on its way

                    We had a reservation this spring, and husband called to confirm and we were told seating would be "tight." Ended up canceling the reservation.

                  2. re: jeffrosenbaum

                    Agreed. Nice post. I have eaten in Europe and small portions are more than satisfying if the experience is on par. Americans demand Diner omelettes w 8 eggs. It's just not bevessry. Food was awesome at pardes. Invoice to taste but the service was far from even sub par and I feel terrible reiterating this point but to have a house manager or maitre de tell you he doesn't need your business because others will gladly take your spot is rather obnoxious it's not cool Brooklyn shishi aloof, it's just plain uncool.

                  3. re: queenscook

                    Wait a second. If you discussing how small the servings were in mikes bistro I think you are understating the obvious. The servings at pardes are bite size. Talk about leaving hungry. Unfortunately our experience was similarly challenging. Great food horrible intolerable service. I posted my experience as well. The maitre de's response was "it's ok if people leave and don't come back. We have enough demand" I think that's very shortsighted on his part.

              3. Uropsych, Queenscook, I was also there this week, with a couple who had never been there before, Our friends were Israeli, sophisticated, foodies, and they were also confused by how to approach the menu. In fact, I discovered the difficulty of reading it carefully that people with particular food issues have when I realized that our friend must be a little bit pregnant because she was struggling to figure out which dishes featured unfamiliar words indicating raw meat or fish. But the food was wonderful and we all had a marvelous time.

                That is not to say that things were perfect. I accept the fact that Chef Moishe tries to make each plate perfect, and I go because the food is wonderful (and the price is modest when compares with the nicer Manhattan restaurants)
                However this week 4 of us were sharing each dish onto share plates, and we sometimes had 5 hot dishes arrive at once. I see where the method of perfecting each plate in a small restaurant makes it hard to have the flow of service perfectly even, but I do think it would be good to try harder.

                As for service in general, what you say, Uropsych, is a problem. We did not get other people's food, nor did ours go elsewhere so far as I am aware. The servers were willing and pleasant, but not very professional about providing forks, plates and removing soiled dishes unobtrusively and efficiently. They also need to smooth out the technique of providing and removing utensils for the fish dishes.

                There is a new (added to the staff this summer) house manager who is charming and helpful, but who does need to tighten up and professionalize the training of the wait-staff.

                For example, just as we were contemplating the dessert menu, our friends had a baby sitter crises. We had a hard time getting someones attention to get a check so we leave. (Not - I should add - that the service at Prime or Solo is always what it should be either)

                These are problems that can be solved. Even the problem of staffing up to serve both the dining room the courtyard - filled in July with hungry men whose wives and families are in the country - can be solved with a little more training of the wait staff.

                What is not matched in any other New York restaurant, and what I treasure is the excitement of the dishes Chef Moishe creates. It is just such a pleasure to eat there. I'll already looking forward to may next visit.

                9 Replies
                1. re: AdinaA

                  i totally agree that the issues that they have can be changed, and that the pluses that they have are really not matched

                  BUT if whenever theres a complaint- theres either exasperation by someone who cant understand why someone had the nerve to say something negative- which was the case this time- or explanation- pple explaining that well- he has great food, so you cant expect the service to be good as well- which was the case last time, its a huge turn off

                  ive been several times since the last- most of the time the food is really good, ive had a couple of occasions where ive been brought someone elses food- in all those situations the wait staff was annoyed when i pointed it out, and in one, i ended up being charged for my dishes and the incorrect dishes, and ive had a couple of times where i just didnt like the flavor combination- but obv that subjective

                  i will go back- when im with someone who is curious enough abt the hype that the rest of the shtick will fall by the wayside- or someone who just doesnt get that a good dining experience shouldnt have all these holes

                  do these things happen elsewhere- sure, but not as consistently, and in my experience, at other erstaurants when theres an issue, theyre apologetic and they try to fix it, ive never gone to another restaurant twice in a row and had the same issue both times, its definitely happened to me at pardes

                  does the food make it worth it?


                  sometimes im in the mood for something i know he does well, otherwise- eh, i find the experience aggravating

                  1. re: shoelace

                    Shoelace, I'm thinking about your take on this. But the thing is, there really are no perfect restaurants. It's always a trade off (high vs. low price; creative cooking vs. reliable standbys; people are even willing to put up with outright rudeness to get perfect soup Pardes has, at worst, less than professional wait staff. To me, this is not very off putting.

                    Pardes, as it is right now, is my very favorite restaurant in the world. It's not that I don't value the quiet elegance of Va Bene, the shabby chic hipness of Azura, or the sizzle of HaHatzer.

                    It's just that my taste buds have fun every time I go there.

                    1. re: AdinaA

                      there absolutely are no perfect restaurants- to me the question is if the issue is fixable- why is that not being worked on? im not talking abt the timing of the plates, which i didnt mention in my post this time- ive convinced myself that the timing is just the quirkiness of a creative man- but no silverware frequently? trying to juggle stuff on the table every time we go bc not only do things come out of the kitchen sporadically but empty plates are often difficult to get picked up? pretty consistent bill mistakes?

                      things happen- but when theres a mistake shouldnt there be some level of acknowledgement and an attempt at fixing it? i find the staff to be kinda indignant when theres an issue

                      to me these are easily fixable issues that just are being ignored-

                      if the chef was indignant abt flavors or timing- thats his right, hes something of a genius, but to be getting that tone from wait staff?

                      that being said, the chanterelles that were mentioned above were DELICIOUS and i had chicken and waffles a while ago that i still talk about

                      on another note- hahatzer? havent heard of it? where? what? tell me more! ur not talking abt the one in israel, are you?

                      1. re: shoelace

                        Yeah, sorry if I misled you, HaHatzer in Israel. I was there again a couple of weeks ago. I really like it.

                        I had the chanterelles, too. heavenly.

                        1. re: AdinaA

                          i got all excited, i thought there was a new restaurant you were following

                          1. re: shoelace

                            The other place I want to get back to soon is Basil. I went once and was intrigued. Curious to hear what's on your list of places in greater NY you haven't been to recently/often enough?

                        2. re: shoelace

                          Shoelace...I agree and by the way the chicken and waffles were awesome as well. Not for the diet conscious but Looks like the Chicken n and Waffles and the BLT take the cake.

                        3. re: AdinaA

                          You are correct. There really are no perfect Restaraunts but if you want to see how it's done right go to Koi in the city or Toku on Long island and for the same price just watch them perform the art of culinary service. Granted you can't eat anything there due to kashrus but just have water. I was there with a client and even my water was served promptly and refilled without me asking. Nothing perfect but far from getting it right is just unacceptable at such a high price point.

                      2. re: AdinaA

                        The house manager was charming and helpful at the door but as soon as slight challenge arose he lost his cool. He was sweating profusely and running around between outdoors and indoors. He clearly said to two different tables that he wasn't concerned if people wanted to leave and not come back. I think that's a bit of a challenging approach when you're in the service business.

                      3. We went last night and had the opposite experience. The wait staff was quite attentive. There was a brand new server who couldn't answer some of our questions so she quickly brought over someone else. His suggestions were spot on, we didn't feel rushed even though almost every table was full, and the food was fantastic. The only minor issue was mentioned here by another commenter: we ordered several dishes between the two of us and sometimes, so many of them showed up at once that there wasn't room for everything on the table. If anyone goes this week, be adventurous and check out the dessert parfait with the candied olives