Sunday, October 01, 2006

Parallel 33

Well, the moment we have all been waiting for my review of Parallel 33. Unfortunately I was really quite disappointed. The food was very good, that I certainly can’t deny, but I don’t think I have encountered such bad service since the Corvette Diner!

At eight o’clock on Saturday evening we arrived at Parallel 33 ready for our reservation. Stupidly I had been under the impression that one reserves a table so that it is there for you when you arrive. This sadly was not the case, of course a few minutes wait would not have been a problem, but we were not seated at our table until 8.45, this is just bad management in my opinion. As a small restaurant with very low capacity P33 should just consider the Linkery’s option of refusing to make reservations, if this is going to be how they treat their customers that do.

During our wait we tried the Tears of the Prophet, which was good, but again I was disappointed by the bartender. One of our fellow diners asked for some recommendation as to how to drink Green Tea vodka- the answer “however you want to drink it” “however you like it”. This is not good bartending, and the man flatly refused to inspire any of our party also.

Once we had been seated at our table we then began the long long wait for food, I had lost count by this point as to how long we waited, but it was a considerable amount of time. In the mean time the request we had put in for more flatbreads had apparently been completely forgotten, and we were getting rather hungry.

The food, as I have said was good. My wife wasn’t utterly thrilled with hers, and wonders why the only vegetarian option at most restaurant always has something to do with sun dried tomatoes and feta cheese- not that she doesn’t like them, its just a little overdone. I got a steak dish, with wonderful potatoes as an accompaniment, this was really excellent, the steak cooked to perfection.

After we had finished our main course we were offered dessert menus. I should add here that earlier in the evening one of our friends had quietly asked if they did anything for Birthdays, she was told that yes a dessert plate would be arranged. We were rather surprised therefore to see the dessert menus, but assuming they had forgotten like many other things in this meal, glanced at the menu and decided to instead head to Heaven Sent desserts, making arrangements to meet a couple of friends there. Waiting another 20 minutes for our check, suddenly the dessert platter arrived- made up of a chocolate cake and a date cake that would certainly not have been any preference of ours. Still it seemed like a nice gesture, and we all tucked in- room could still be made for Heaven Sent!

The shock came with the check- not only had we been charged for the dessert plate- but it was the cost of two desserts. Now I don’t want to sound cheap, but every restaurant I have ever been to for any sort of special occasion throws in a free dessert for the honoree. I have to say we were pretty disappointed. Not that it cost loads, just the principal of after our long long wait this was.

Ah well, nice concept for a restaurant, good food and some good drinks. Maybe I had just been looking forward to it too much and building it up in my head?


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the write up on Parallel 33 – too bad about the service issues and the dessert charge. It would seem that they implied they would be serving a complimentary birthday dessert.

Fred Fredsky said...

We went to P33 tonite and I made a point of coming back to this page which I had read before going there. We did not make reservations or waited at the bar, so I can't comment on those aspects.

The decor was interesting, and the room (the second, recently opened room left of the kitchen) was acoustically pleasant even tho a larger group was also there celebrating a birthday. A somewhat baffling detail was the bright light illuminating the bottom of the table, and everyone's legs, from a hole in the floor while the menus were a bit hard to read in the dim light above.

At any rate, the important thing, the food, was excellent. I had the duck dish with potato gnocchis - it is not the easiest thing to make duck breast to be plump and juicy while being cooked just right, a bit crusty on the outside, but it was just like that. Others in our party also loved their food.

Price: everything is in the mid to upper 20s.

The service was good with a nice and helpful waitress, no excessive waiting for food, drinks, checks.

We'll be back!