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Grand opening: not at all impressed
(Posted by: TrevR on 07-12-2008 @ 9:51 PM)
I went to Firewood Cafe in Napa with high expectations having watched the restaurant being built for several months. I visited on opening weekend and arrived around 8pm on Friday night looking to get some take out.
From the looks of things, it was quite busy upon my arrival--a good sign in my book. Upon entering, I was greeted by a friendly hostess who informed me the kitchen was running "a bit behind" and told me it may take an extra 15-20 minutes to get my food. OK, I thought. Not ideal, but that's fine. I perused the menu, made my selections and walked up to the counter where the cash registers are to place my order.
Unfortunately, there was no one at the counter to take my order. I waited patiently, observing the staff and checking out the overall scene. Nice, kid-friendly place, decent wines and the food I could see looked great. 5 minutes went by, still no one at the main counter--now a line was forming behind me. 10 minutes and probably 5-7 waiters and what appeared to be manager types literally passed by the counter, made eye contact with me and kept right on walking, never saying a word. Meanwhile, people were coming in from their tables outside to complain to the hostess that they'd not seen their waiter in ages. Not good. 15 minutes and we're now up to at least 10 staffers who ignored me. I'm not a high maintenance guest, believe me, but this was getting silly now. 20 minutes and the same thing was going on, I'd had enough. All I needed was someone to say hello, apologize for the long wait and tell me they'd be with me as soon as they could--but I didn't even get that.
While the food looked good, the service on this night was absolutely abysmal. I left without ever even being spoken to by anyone but the hostess.
Having worked in the food service industry in the valley, including stints long ago at Rutherford Grill, Gillwoods Cafe, Bistro Don Giovanni and others, I can tell you this would never be acceptable at any of those establishments. I'll give Firewood Cafe a second chance, recognizing it was the grand opening and they're certainly ironing things out, but they'd better get it figured out quick...