Saturday, March 28, 2015

March 28, Saturday: Some Thoughts on New Eateries

Well, it's nearly April, and so far March has lived up to my hopes by being much less snowy than February, though it has been bitterly cold. Lately, we've gotten up to the 40's, had some rain and melting, and have begun to see some reduction of the snow--some. We'll take it. Today I am participating in the Flattop 5K, my first race since. . . . the Memorial Mile? My goal is "have fun, and 32 or under." We'll see.

I have been thinking about restaurant start ups, since there have been several new places opening Ellsworth--which is a relief, because there have been a flood of closings! Andy and I in our newly free status, have been able to try a lot of them, and here is the big suggestion I'd have for anyone opening a new restaurant, especially in a small(ish) town or city: request feedback. Offer $1 off the bill or a free dessert for anyone who will fill out anonymous feedback. Ask questions like "How was the service?" (Answer, for last night: slow, and it was really frustrating to watch at least two waitresses drinking soda at the service station while we waited 10 mins for our water and bread. Get your house to work together so that it's not "that's my table, and that's yours," but "These are our customers.") and "How was the food: taste, quality, portion size?" (Answer for last night: just okay. I could make it as good at home, and that, for me, is the kiss of death. I won't pay money to have someone else make me my own food unless I am very, very tired. Portion size: quite good. Not stupidly enormous, not tiny. Quality: okay, but my medium burger was really more rare in the middle. As a steak house, you might want to get that down.) and "How was the presentation?" (Answer for last night: a bit bleak. My husband's excellent scallops and vegs. were on one side of an otherwise empty plate. As in--empty. No garnish, no cheap but pleasant pile of rice. A little odd.).

You really need to wow us--or else before long we'll be going to another new restaurant in the same place yours is now.

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