During the past two years, I have had the pleasure of dining at the North End Grill. A super restaurant in Battery Park city owned by Danny Meyer. Once again, last night it was the scene of a meal following the last sail of the season. A friend and I always sit at the bar. He’s more of a foodie than I am but we equally like to watch how plates are prepared and how the staff works together. Sadly, I think last night’s meal might be my last one at this eatery because of what I consider two different levels of service: that provided to our party and that provided to a diner three seats away.
Like many restaurants, North End Grill provides a Sunday dinner. The catch apparently is that it is for a least two people. That was what we were told. In reality, it’s for two people until it’s not. Or until someone comes into the restaurant who you know or just feel like treating differently. To be fair they did take a glass of wine that I was drinking off the bill and the general manager did come over to our table to ask if we wanted something more or if he could help in any way but the whole experience left a bitter taste in my mouth that wasn’t from the Scarpetta Barbera I was drinking. That was lovely. The treatment and the service wasn’t and sadly, I think I will be celebrating the end of sailing season somewhere else next year and the beginning of sailing season too. We all know that we aren’t treated the same way in life or even in restaurants but it was pretty glaring watching it up close and personal in a totally empty restaurant. It’s good to appreciate good service when you have it. It’s also good to pay attention when you don’t. For a restauranteur like Danny Meyer who prides himself exactly on that, I was quite surprised to find this treatment at one of his restaurants. I’ll be on the look out for good restaurants near North Cove for next year. I’m sure something new to surprise me will come to the fore.