andy and i went to spire (tremont st at park st) this past monday. the one line summary is: okay food, terrible service. allow me a moment to rant (although i’m sure i’ve ranted about this before): HOW HARD IS IT TO GET GOOD SERVICE?? the bottom line is that restaurants’ waitstaff and their managers don’t realize that service is as much a commodity as food, and personally i think it’s more. andy and i agree, and i’m sure most people do as well, that if we had to consider a place with slightly less quality food but with superior service, we’d go with the better service place every time. how was our service bad? let me count the ways:

– in general, our waitress was uncommitted at best and negligent at worst.
– apparently we were only allowed one menu for the two of us at all times.
– the waitress didn’t give us napkins??
– asked for my wine to come w/ my entree when i ordered. of course she forgot. no apology.
– after my entree arrived i had to ask for a fork. (compare to number 9 park where they practically shower you with cutlery.) again no apology.
– they offered to pay for our first round of drinks b/c the kitchen was slow due to a large party. and then of course they forgot that too when they gave us our check. no apology.
– the bartender didn’t look andy’s way for at least five minutes even though he literally wasn’t doing anything except chatting with the waitress while andy waited (not so) patiently for another drink.
– at least 60% of the time the bartender had his back to the bar.
– at one point the bartender left for at least 5 minutes and there was no one manning the bar.
– no offer for a dessert menu. even stranger was that our check was just left where we were sitting at the bar. uh … isn’t that what they do in diners? and why bother leaving a pen w/ our check if we haven’t even given them a credit card yet?
– when the waitress brought out andy’s entree he asked her a question about what it was comprised of, but she didn’t know the answer and didn’t offer to find out, nor did she apologize.

overall the service was amateur and it felt like the staff didn’t want to be there. which, needless to say, is bad bad bad. if restaurants aren’t welcoming, they’re cold and unfriendly and you might as well be eating at your in-laws.

with all the disappointment in the service, it’s hardly with mentioning the food, but here’s a quick run-down:

– vidalia onion soup, pickled chanterelles, nantucket razor clams & scallion: andy said this was good but the ratio of soup to other stuff was off (possibly the waitress’s fault).
– kobe beef shooters, 3 rare burgers with 3 different toppings: andy said the beef was really good. the toppings remain a mystery though (see above).
– pickled lemon & 3 basil salad, marcona almonds & almond oil: very good actually. salted on purpose, although i found it to be overly so.
– potato gnocchi, local tomatoes, basil pistou, & ricotta salata: not bad, but uninteresting. definitely way better than metropolis’s slug-like gnocchi. incidentally, andy went back there once and they were still serving that bizarre molded asparagus dish. so weird.
– the shiraz i had was spicy and overly aggressive. (sorry, that’s the best i can do. i really need to take a wine-tasting class or something.)

i’ve been listening to barber’s: prayers of kierkegaard. it’s kind of surprising how much the choral vocal lines remind me of john adams’ choral writing in the death of klinghoffer. speaking of classical music, stay tuned for a tirade about the worst concert i’ve ever been to …


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