I love the "douche" comments about this place. I actually have taken my parents here on two occassions who are in their 70s and are in my humble opinion, very non douche or "Jersey Shore". They in fact are not the type that venture off far from a meat and potatoes type of meal.
When I explained this to the waiter, he was more than happy to recommend not only items on the menu but that they would be happy to make a meat and potatoes type of entree for them. To that end, the steaks they ordered were cooked perfectly and they very much enjoyed the pickled beets and also the sides. Sides they normally wouldn't enjoy. i can't remember ever seeing my Brooklyn born parents eating brussel sprouts or mac & cheese for that matter.
Was it noisy, sure, but not to the point that my parents couldn't hear our conversations. Also, were there some overly trendy folks around us, yes. But it again didn't take away from their experience.
I realize that dining is more than simply the food, it also includes the setting, the crowd, the presentation, etc. That being said, at the end of the day, in my opinion, and yes I agree with the other comments that these are all simply that, opinions, that the food is what should be the main baise of the review.
Again, I am always for opinions. But at the same time, I think it is ridiculous to hold in some higher esteem one critic because he or she is an expert. What makes them an expert? Because they dine out quite often and like to use witty comments and sarcastic criticisms of food? I do come to the table with an opinion of my own. I have managed in the past several years ago for both independent upscale establishments, upscale casual, etc. establishments and upcoming chains.
I guess now as I am no longer in that direct day to day market in my current profession, but still involved in working with the hospitality industry I am still just floored by both individual diners and critics comments.
Do you really think that these places are not trying their best every day? Yes there are some places that are simply terrible, some servers that are uncaring and some kitchens that simply have no business being the restaurant industry. But let's face it, when they make a mistake, a mistake all of us make in our jobs, such as my spelling, rambling, etc. in this post, do we have individuals jumping on us for every point?
I just wish that individuals who make posts would realize the impact that their comments have in this information age. You didn't like your salmon...okay, was it really that terrible? You made a reservation for a table with a view and were not given that table, was your entire meal a failure? These comments that are posted can make or break a person's establishment whether founded or not. How many of us would like to have a group of people from the outside rate us in our job performances on one small snapshot of their opinion and have it be the reason for us having a job or not?
When you make a mistake in the restaurant industry, there is no delete button, there is no "recall of my email" it has gone out there to the table. But how many times in our own professions do we get a second chance in our mistakes etc. to not have the entire world wide web know that we had a hiccup or flub and not have everyone with an internet connection pounce upon it and give their two cents of what they would have done better.
I apologize for my rant but I just get tired sometimes of how much we think that every single dining experience should be without one fault and not realize that our comments, while well meaning as constructive criticicsm can have long reaching effects.