One of our favorite restaurants has gone way downhill

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Mosca
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2014/02/16 16:05:11 (permalink)

One of our favorite restaurants has gone way downhill

It is so sad. I don't want to name them here, Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, all the major review sites are full of recent bad reviews to give plenty of warning should you come across the place randomly, and frankly it would just sadden me too much to pile on.

The food was decent, but not outstanding like it used to be. The presentation was nonexistent, the same as if I'd thrown a plate together at home, not even a parsley sprig. The service was awful, from the owner on down to the busboy, ranging from overly friendly and possibly completely soused (the owner, whom my wife knows well) to brusque and dismissive (the waitress throwing the check on the table and saying, "Sorry for the delay," as she was walking away.)

It just depresses me. They were always our ace in the hole, to recommend and to take people to when we wanted to treat friends. The feeling of despair among the staff was palpable, as people without direction tried to do all the jobs at once, with no coordination among them. At one point a guest at another table went and got the water pitcher and filled his and his wife's glasses, then laughed and filled ours... Seeing as how our entire room hadn't seen a waitress for at least half an hour.

I don't even know why I am putting this here. I guess it's because so many of us are passionate about the art of dining, both the serving and the partaking. We just liked it so much. We had our rehearsal dinner there, in 1989, we've eaten there a couple-three-four times a year for the past 27 years. I noticed it a little last summer, but this was just off the charts.
#1

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    Michael Hoffman
    Double-chop Porterhouse
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    Re:One of our favorite restaurants has gone way downhill 2014/02/16 16:12:33 (permalink)
    It happens. I used to enjoy a now closed Italian restaurant in Columbus where the food was really good and the service was marvelous. Additionally, the owner, his wife and their son were fantastic people (the son was the chef) and excellent hosts. We were there at least once a week for years. Then, for some reason, we noticed that the service was getting less and less efficient and friendly. Orders were wrong, the food wasn't as good. Finally, I stopped going there. Shortly thereafter (not because I stopped) it closed. I still miss the place -- Del Matto's.
    #2
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:One of our favorite restaurants has gone way downhill 2014/02/16 16:15:36 (permalink)
    That does sound depressing.  Has ownership changed hands recently?  Not caring starts at the top; is it possible some sort of life event away from the restaurant has affected ownership/management?
    #3
    Mosca
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    Re:One of our favorite restaurants has gone way downhill 2014/02/16 23:51:00 (permalink)
    Nope, same owners. But a friend ate there last month and commented that the owner was bombed out of her mind, and she seemed that way last night, except Mrs said she didn't think so. But I thought so. She was slurring her words, overly effusive, and confused, then laughing off the confusion backhandedly. If it was medical I don't think she would have realized that she'd made the mistakes.

    Mrs Mosca would give them the benefit and return, but I think she knows that I won't, or that I'll give them only one more chance. Previous recent trips have been frayed, but still strong. This one the place was dangling by a thread.
    #4
    Mosca
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    Re:One of our favorite restaurants has gone way downhill 2014/02/16 23:53:16 (permalink)
    They still have their Christmas decorations up....
    #5
    EdSails
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    Re:One of our favorite restaurants has gone way downhill 2014/02/17 00:45:42 (permalink)
    I think you put it up because most of us can relate to the experience. If you go to a restaurant for the first time and it's bad, you write it off and never return. But if it's a place that you've liked in the past---maybe even been a regular at----then it's really sad, especially with that conflict of "should we give them one (two, three, ten) more chance (s)".
    #6
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:One of our favorite restaurants has gone way downhill 2014/02/17 07:50:05 (permalink)
    It happens.
     
    Owners tire and slowly lose attention to detail.
     
    One of my all-time favorite restaurants was the Kissimmee Steak Company near Orlando.  I first went there in 1982 and it was fantastic
     
    Over the next 30 years and at least a dozen trips to Orlando I patronized them each time and slowly witnessed its expansion, then its decline. 
     
    My last meal there in 2006 was 'meh'. 
     
    Finally, it closed.
     
    Too bad "Restaurant Impossible" didn't get hold of it first.
    #7
    MacTAC
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    Re:One of our favorite restaurants has gone way downhill 2014/02/17 12:43:17 (permalink)
    Mosca

    Nope, same owners. But a friend ate there last month and commented that the owner was bombed out of her mind, and she seemed that way last night, except Mrs said she didn't think so. But I thought so. She was slurring her words, overly effusive, and confused, then laughing off the confusion backhandedly. 

    In all likelihood, there's the cause of the decline.
    #8
    Mosca
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    Re:One of our favorite restaurants has gone way downhill 2014/02/17 16:40:15 (permalink)
    Probably, MacTAC. Whichever happened first, the decline or the drinking, doesn't matter; each feeds the other and prevents the solution.
    #9
    Louis
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    Re:One of our favorite restaurants has gone way downhill 2014/02/17 19:33:13 (permalink)
    I used to patronize a restaurant in Harrisburg, Illinois that made a chili dog that was to die for.  It had the most perfect blend of chili, onions and mustard that I could find in my part of the country.  Two or three times a year I'd drive a couple of hours there (about 100 miles) just to get my chili dog fix.  Then in the early 1990s, I noticed that while the chili dog had not changed, the restaurant overall had gotten pretty seedy.
     
    In 1998 I visited there on my way to be on a Q&A panel at a folk music presentation in Arkansas.  By the time I got to Missouri, I was sick.  Really sick.  It turned out that I was so sick that I had to go to the hospital.  They said I had gotten food poisoning.  I didn't want to believe that the restaurant, which I had loved and patronized for 24 years, was the culprit.  But when I went by there again in 1999, they had closed and razed the building.  It was only then that I had to admit that the restaurant had caused my misfortune.  But I would claw my way back there tomorrow if someone there reintroduced that chili dog recipe in a clean restaurant.  Gosh!  That taste was just heavenly!
     
    #10
    joerogo
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    Re:One of our favorite restaurants has gone way downhill 2014/02/17 19:41:58 (permalink)
    Hey Tom, Is this the place where the owner used to run the kitchen and now he drinks at the bar and runs his mouth?  
    #11
    Mosca
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    Re:One of our favorite restaurants has gone way downhill 2014/02/17 21:06:50 (permalink)
    I'll PM you, Joe.
    #12
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:One of our favorite restaurants has gone way downhill 2014/02/17 21:44:04 (permalink)
    Mosca

    Probably, MacTAC. Whichever happened first, the decline or the drinking, doesn't matter; each feeds the other and prevents the solution.
    We saw that happen with one of our favorite places as well.  First we heard that it was closing, then we heard the alleged reasons, then we witnessed things first hand.  What was truly sad was that the staff still cared and the food was still good, but the ownership situation was an anchor that couldn't be overcome.
    #13
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