Had a chance to visit Whisknladle on Wall Street in La Jolla where their motto on menu is a Julia Child quote: ” You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces, just good food from fresh ingredients.” Buzz and a pal agree, with at least the four dishes we tried (all perfect for sharing): cracker thin flatbread with greens, a light dusting of Parmesan and a bit of lemon zest ($14); seared scallops (2) on a skinny plate with baby snow peas and blood orange foam ($16); fusilli with morels and fava bean puree ($14) and a rhubarb galette with an unusually (and very good) feather-light crust ($10). With drinks our tab was $90 plus tip and for a Wednesday night, the place was nearly full-they clearly know their customers with only 20 menu items priced mostly in the high teens. High quality ingredients, a bit pricey for quanity, as in the two scallops for $16. Mid- May they open Prepkitchen down the street on Fay Avenue for take away or eat in sandwiches, salads, dinner items and more….
Encinitas has a gem tucked away in the old Marie Callender’s spot at Manchester and Encinitas Boulevards. Three of us found the service, food and the clubby atmosphere at Bentley’s Steak & Chop House top notch. How so? Specials were recited with the price; server didn’t reveal her name; generous portion of Colorado rack of lamb perfectly cooked medium rare ($29). With drinks our three mains and two starters totaled $160 plus tip. There’s a large patio for lunch or dinner and if I lived closer, I’d be a regular.
Love the blog! Curious though – why does a server not revealing her name lead to a finding of “top notch”? I must not be familiar with this bit of restaurant server etiquette (no sarcasm here). Personally, I like knowing people’s names because it means acknowledging them as fellow beings and not just “food-getters.”
Great question. Here’s how I see it when it comes to good service, especially when I dine at a nice place: I expect unobtrusive, friendly and knowledgeable servers. The “Hi my name is…” from someone I’ve never met sounds the server is ready to join our party and become our new best friend. Not. I do understand wanting to acknowledge the person, and I would do so at the end of a meal–with a good tip and then ask for the name. Remember, we are the guests in a restaurant, we’re paying for good food and service to match and certainly if you are a regular, first names might be appropriate. I was recently in Paris where no matter what the restaurant, servers never introduce themselves to a table.
I heartedly agree about expecting an unobtrusive, friendly (but not too friendly) and knowledgeable server in a nice restaurant. Thanks for the explanation!