Unfortunately, I did not have the same positive dining experience that others have had at Shark's. The cioppino (despite its fresh, well-cooked seafood) had an unpleasant texture, was far too sweet and one-dimensional, and was as thick as Ragu from a jar. The pasta was overcooked and swimming in a similarly unbalanced, overly sweet sauce.
The seafood cocktail contained bay shrimp which had been overcooked and rendered rubbery, the cocktail sauce was nondescript and lacked a zip that could have been remedied by the addition of some horseradish, and the entirety of the dish was overpowered by an unnecessarily large portion of minced celery. The fresh fruit platter was not the "huge plate of fresh fruit" that was described by the waitress. Rather, it consisted of a few (very few) berries, grapes, melon pieces, and kiwi. The plate was for our young children. I must also unfortunately note that the fruit was nowhere near the peak of ripeness, and came with inedible rinds, peels, and hulls/stems attached. Perhaps I'm overly particular, but I would prefer not to have to spend my meal peeling kiwi and dehulling berries for my toddler.
Finally, the disappointment of the meal was punctuated by the classic rock (which I don't necessarily mind) that was being played via a device that skipped several seconds of music every minute or so for the hour plus we were there.
I recently posted a review here (since deleted at my request) about a bad experience I had at Sharks. It was unfair and really little more than an insult. Over the past few days, I have had the opportunity to discuss the issue with a number of friends and associates (food industry employed and not) and have decided that my behavior was completely inappropriate.
I was especially moved by conversations I had with my wife (who is a conflict resolution superstar) and with a restaurant owner I had never met before. The restaurateur made an excellent point when she employed the word "guest" in our conversation. Meaning that when you patronize a restaurant, you are a "guest." When I considered the implications and responsibilities of being a "guest," it became a catalyst for a substantial amount of introspective and retrospective thought.
While I may have been served a thoughtlessly and carelessly prepared meal by people who were inconsiderate of their guests, that did not entitle me to react by trying to force them to experience the same feelings of anger, being disrespected, and being scammed that I felt.
I consider eating and cooking to be some of the most intimate and personal actions of the human experience. I am very fortunate to have access to so many profoundly good restaurants, markets, etc., here in the Pacific NW. I am very fortunate to have the food industry background that allows me to better appreciate good food far more than I otherwise would have.
I suppose my expectations are even higher now than they have ever been, due to the relative ease with which I can find a carefully and passionately prepared meal or the highest quality ingredients. And I think that I am more easily offended than I ever was when I am served something that is not prepared with respect for the ingredients and the guest.
I appreciate your spending a few moments of your valuable time reading my review and my confession and again I extend my sincere gratitude to the restaurateur who offered this guest some of the most outstanding food for thought I have been served in a long while.