The "OFF" is a bit of a pun, a reference to Parkinson disease, as we had a professional PD related event (~35 people) & also reference to the generally great other reviews on this place.
Well, it's because of those other reviews why we picked this restaurant for our event. I was rather surprised for the poor experience and I just want to share so that readers can take it into account besides all the good ones out there as well.
I had been told by my coworkers that there would be valet parking, yet arriving in front of the restaurant I saw nobody. Fortunately there was (metered) street parking very close, so I parked there. When we walked in the receptionist (it's also a hotel), who BTW was very nice, confirmed to us that there was valet parking, asked for my car keys, yet did not have any ticket or receipt to give me, which I felt a bit uneasy about, came across as odd, if not unprofessional. I gave my business card just in case.
The restaurant (we needed a special room for our event) was on the 5th floor and seated us nicely. Overall, the room was appropriate for this size of crowd and the kind of event (few panelists speaking to the entire crowd), speakers could be easily heard by the audience. A small annoyance there: there was background music at first, and this made it difficult to hear the speakers. I desperately and vigorously waved toward the waiting staff, one almost seemed like heading my way, but no. I could not leave my spot as I was an important member of the panel, but fortunately somebody walked to them and asked them to shut off the music, which they did.
Then there was a bit of an oddity re: beer service. I asked for beer & first was told they had something on draft (which is always my preference). Then the waiter returned & told me they only had bottles, in fact he brought 1 bottle of each of the 3 kinds of beers they had. I picked the Pinkus hefeweizen (a great beer, BTW), so he placed a bottle of it in front of me, opened it. He started walking away and then turned back half-way & asked (apparently expecting a 'no') if I wanted to have a glass. Really? Hefe weizen out of the bottle? So I said yes, he took the beer away, then helped served lunch (additionally to 2 other waiting staff) for all 35 people, then came back with my beer ~10' later (did apologize for the delay).
Well, those are really just minor issues. The MAIN issue was the food. Both my wife & I ordered the tomato soup and it was horrible! One of the worst soups (of any kind) that I have ever had. It had some tin-like (per my wife) or spoiled fish like (per me) aftertaste. I was very hungry and ended up eating it, but my wife could not eat hers. I really have no clue how something as simple as tomato soup can be made so bad!
The rest of the menu wasn't much better. I had the salmon, which was luke-warm, dry, and besides the farmed-fish taste, was fairly tasteless. My wife's chicken wasn't good either. Finally, my baklava was not crispy, like when it is fresh/high quality, but wet paper like.
Service was (besides the issues I already described) poor, e.g. when a waitress came around to take orders for coffee and I was actually speaking to someone at that time, she just did not ask me (I actually did not realize this at that time, as I wasn't paying attention, only when I saw others being served coffee did I ask how come they got it). They did ask the person I was talking to about coffee and he asked for decaf, which she announced they did not have (!)...
I don't have problem with Ikea, throughout my life many pieces of my furniture has been from there, but it came across as a bit low-end for a restaurant. The cleanliness of the floors was also iffy.
In the end of the day the event was a success (for why I did not rate "terrible" - 1 star), thanks to the speakers, the awesome audience, and the general setup. However, the food being so poor came close to ruining everything. I most certainly won't organize business events here again and probably won't come privately either, but I appreciate that other reviewers had good experience and, as said in the title, this could just be this restaurant's OFF day.
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