February 1, 2011
Arrived at 1:00pm for lunch at The John Dory Oyster Bar at the Ace Hotel. Despite many open seats along the window bars, I was told it would be about a 20 minute wait. When my lunch guest arrived a few minutes later I enquired with the maître d’hôtel why there would be such a long wait, and here’s what she said:
– Since we don’t take reservations, we need to pace the restaurant.
-OK, I think I understand, you’re a bit short on servers today?
-No, we need to pace the kitchen.
-Pace the kitchen? But there are many seats open and we still have to wait?
– Well, we can seat you but you’ll have to wait 10 or 15 minutes just to order.
-Well, I would rather sit than stand here by the cold door.
– OK. Sorry about that but we had a bunch of people come in and order all at once and we need to pace the kitchen.
Hmmm? Really. There was a rush of people, all at one time. Was this a new trend? Oh right, it’s called LUNCHTIME. Obviously a new concept at The John Dory.
Sure, the oysters were good, and so was the Parsley And Anchovy Toast and Escarole Salad. The glass of Riesling was good too but I could do without the ‘wines on tap’ description.
Good food – Yes. Service – well, not unless you liked to be paced. Baffling really.