Friday, September 11, 2009

Ad Hoc Sucked

You know how you look forward to something for a long time? And you get everyone else to look forward to it also? And then it sucks??? Well, that's what happened to me on our vacation!!

I am a FOODIE with a capital "F". I love to eat, to cook, to go to restaurants, to look at food blogs, etc...

About two months ago I decided to make dinner reservations at Ad Hoc in Yountville. The restaurant is owned by Thomas Keller (of French Laundry fame). I figured that if his name was behind it, it would have to be great.

When I made the reservation I told them that I didn't eat pork, and didn't mix meat and dairy. They assured me that it would be no problem and that they would accommodate me.

They called me 2 days before our reservation to check if we were still coming. I reminded them again that I didn't eat pork, and didn't mix meat and dairy. Once again, I was assured that they were aware of my restrictions and it would be no problem.

We got there and the menu consisted of:
*Prosciutto wrapped melon - they put the prosciutto to the side and the melon was actually quite good.
*Steak with a mushroom, cream and cognac sauce - I didn't eat this but my father asked for A-1 steak sauce and my friend said that the meat was tough. The side vegetables were actually quite good, ESPECIALLY the fried cauliflower.
*Cheese Board - 3 types of cheese, small portions.
*Chocolate Ice Cream with brownies pieces in it - this came with whipped cream, candied walnuts and a strawberry sauce on the side. It was nothing special - the ice cream was no better or worse than what I can get at the grocery store.

I told them I would not be eating the steak. They asked if I wanted to have the vegetarian meal. Two of us chose that option. So....they brought out a couple of pieces of fennel and 6 tiny peppers stuffed with something.

That was how this restaurant, whose owner is one of the best chefs in the world, "accommodated" me. A restaurant of this quality should have made an effort to make me feel "at home" instead of as an "after-thought" by throwing a couple of vegetables at me. Especially since they charged me full price for the $2 worth of vegetables.

I was so disappointed and shocked that I didn't even put up a fuss or ask to speak to a manager. I paid the outrageous bill and left. I may still call, but don't really see the point.


Lucy said...

I can't stand it when something doesn't live up to it's expectations AND it cost a bunch of money that is like a double whammy!

Jon said...

I feel like you broke the grandma's house rule. At grandma's house, she does the cooking. You don't instruct, complain and change it up. At a restaurant of this quality, you don't need to tell them how to make your food. You just eat it. You are the one who chose not to eat what they wanted to serve you. I don't like fish very much, but if Keller puts a piece of seared tuna in front of me, by God, I am going to eat it. Because I am at the place to experience their menu, not my notion of what should or should bot be eaten.

On the other hand, I haven't been to Ad Hoc. I will have to try the place for myself some day and maybe I will feel the same as you. And then I will come back and say you were right.