There were eight people in our party and the reservation was at 1:30 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon of a special event weekend in the town of Santa Ynez. I had dined at this location on five previous occasions and was acquainted with the establishment's owner,promoter, and host,Bruce, a local radio personality. There were local rumors, however, that the restaurant was under new management and, if so, it certainly was apparent.
At the time of our seating, there were only three other tables that were occupied and the bar area was totally empty. Two of the other three tables had already been served. The waiter appeared and took drink orders. There were a couple of menu questions at which point the waiter advised that the restaurant had run out of salad and some menu items were no longer available. It appeared odd that a restaurant would run out of salad this early in the day and even so, there are supermarkets nearby. We ordered what we could within ten minutes of arrival. It took almost 50 minutes to be served, an especially long time considering that there was only one order ahead of us for a table of two people. When our food finally began to arrive, it came out in spurts. It began with two meals placed on the table. Then five minutes later, two more meals were brought to the table and about 10 minutes later, the remaining four meals arrived. This was obnoxious service, as the two meals that arrived almost 15 - 20 minutes earlier were now somewhat cool. During the time we were eating, two of the tables in the restaurant had emptied and two more tables had been occupied, yet the staff still did not have time to keep our beverage glasses full. At the end of the meal we waited about ten more minutes before our server returned to ask anyone if they wanted desert. He then read off four deserts that were available. Only one person ordered a desert, a strawberry shortcake, and five minutes later the server returned to say that the desert was no longer available. It was then changed to another item, which took 20 minutes to arrive. In all we spent nearly two hours in the restaurant.
I did not see Bruce during the time we were there and, in fact, if he has sold his interest, this might explain such poor service on the part of the new owners. We are saddened!
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