Naughty & nice

Naughty NiceSome random musings on restaurant experiences as we close up 2014. With apologies to the original lyrics “He knows what we’ve been eating, he knows what we’ll forsake, he know what food’s been good or bad, please be good for goodness sake.”

Nice (very) Dinner at Root & Bone – Long wait (place is small) but staff (especially Valentina) couldn’t have been more solicitous. No attitude here. Once we were seated and the delicious drinks came out, followed by the inventive apps and fantastic fried chicken, we couldn’t have been happier. We’ll get there earlier next time.

NaughtyThe Inn at Pound Ridge – There had been much hype about Jean Georges Vongerichten’s lovely suburban space. So we went with high hopes for an anniversary dinner. Request for some romance obviously ignored – seated practically on top of party of four and got to hear every bit of their conversation. (Side note – what is it with restaurants squeezing parties of two into banquette seating on top of other customers?) When we comment hostess points out that if we want privacy we can stay home. Email to restaurant regarding experience ignored. Coal in their stocking.

NiceLafayette gets it right on a number of counts. Not squeezed on top of people at the banquette seating here. Food is inventive without too many unnecessary flourishes. Same goes for drinks. Service was excellent. This bistro is magnifique.

NaughtyIlili – love the food and don’t mind how expensive small plate ordering can become. But $17 for a bourbon and St Germain? As they used to say on Saturday Night Live, “Really?”

NiceRed Hat on the River in Irvington has impressed with great food and great views on a number of occasions. One night things were off. Remember life before Yelp? Reached out directly to the general manager. Couldn’t have been more appreciative of feedback and sent us a gift certificate for our next visit. Perhaps he should talk to the Inn at Pound Ridge people about the right way to handle things.

Naughty (actually more annoying) Maybe I’m one of the few people who actually cancel a reservation but I find the concept of reconfirming an unnecessary step. Half the time I’m put on hold to get through to the restaurant and just because I reconfirm doesn’t mean I’m still going to show up. Kudos to Lafayette (again) – they leave a reminder phone call and say if my plans change to please call and otherwise they look forward to seeing me. Simple and effective.

NiceValentino’s in Yonkers – sometimes you want to go where everybody (or somebody) knows your name. Old-school Italian, huge portions, delicious food. We introduced ourselves to the owner when we entered because the restaurant had been recommended. As we were leaving he said goodbye to us by name and asked how we enjoyed our meals. Smart move.

We’re looking forward to lots of great meals in 2015 and more nice than naughty experiences. May visions of sugarplums and flaming rum punches (every time you drink an angel gets his wings) dance in your heads. AFW

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