Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Restaurant Review: Butcher and the Rye

As mentioned in my obligatory thanksgiving post, we had gone to one of the newest restaurants in Pittsburgh, Butcher and the Rye (the sister restaurant to Meat and Potatoes) the Friday after Thanksgiving. Here is my review as seen on Yelp:


I gave this joint two shots...two...

Three things I love - going to restaurants, trying new things, and my birthday. So when planning my birthday dinner and discovering that this place was opening that weekend, I thought, perfect - three of my favorite things!  Now, mind you, this is probably two weeks out from my birthday dinner. So i find the number, give them a call, and I reach a recording where I was unable to leave a message. Fine. So I call Meat and Potatoes, their sister restaurant, and I speak with the hostess there who tells me that Butcher and the Rye isn't taking reservations for the first two weeks that they are open. Fine. So I contact my dinner guests, they are fine with winging it without a reservation. We figured we'd go on the early side as we anticipate a bit of a wait.

We arrive at 7:30 on the first Saturday they are open, get to the host stand, and they asked us if we had a reservation. Excuse me? "I was told you weren't taking reservations for the first two weeks." Response: "Well, on Tuesday of this week we got so many requests for reservations we had to start taking them." Really? "We can have a table for you at 1045." Again, really?

So we decided to have a drink there and call some other places to get a table for dinner. We sat at the bar upstairs, while three or four tables behind us were empty with reservation signs on them. There were only two small groups of people at the bar including us, and I had to flag one of the two bartenders down to get their attention to my empty drink that had been sitting on the bar for at least five minutes.

We were there for about 45 minutes, and when we left there was still one open table that could have seated us. Now, having worked at restaurants for most of my late teens and early twenties I understand that you have to make room for reservations, but restaurants should also know how to turn tables quickly to accommodate walk ins (there were only three of us!).

Long story short, I decided to chalk it up to management needing to fine tune some things after the first weekend. Needing a place for dinner for the Friday after Thanksgiving, I decided to give them another shot. I made a reservation for eight, tried to bump it up to nine, but they said the most people they could accommodate at one table was eight. Fine.

When we got there, they asked us if we had reservation before we even entered the door. Yes. Then we got to the host stand - they asked us again if we had a reservation.  Yes, but it's down to seven - someone bailed last minute. The hostess did a bit of scurrying, asking probably a manger if we could still have the table they had for us with only seven. That person said yes. Then they said that two guests had arrived and were at the bar. We go see them, and our two guests were the ones that said our table was ready, the hostess didn't let us know even though we had walked right by the room with our table.

They had us in the front room with the big picnic table and the floor to ceiling window. The table and room could have comfortably accommodated ten people, but my request for nine was denied. And it was freezing. I couldn't take my coat off the entire dinner. Pretty dismal.

The food was...meh. We ordered lots of apps to share and it was quite comical because one person did the ordering, and all the food was served to her, despite it being quite obvious that all these dishes had been ordered was for the table and not just for her. Drinks took awhile to come, but the servers and food runners were very nice...so they had that going for them...

Needless to say, disappointed. Great atmosphere, cool because it's new, but probably wouldn't hit it up as dinner spot again any time soon."

womp, womp...

 xo, cheers, namaste,


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I'd love to hear your thoughts, please share! xo MK