Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I thought I had already written about the move Maverick's has made but I can't seem to find it in the archives which is fine since we went again last night and I have more to say.

For those of you who don't know yet, Maverick's has moved from it's downtown location to the Future Inn on Mapleton Road. I was concerned that it would have lost it's charm. It's different for sure. But is some ways it was a good change. There is more seating which was why when we decided to drop in for dinner last night we didn't worry about having a reservation. Tuesday night before Valentine's day didn't seem like a big dinner out kind of night. We ended up waiting a good 20 minutes for a table. However, this was not because they were full by any stretch of the imagination. They tried to put us at a table along the wall where everyone is lined up but I don't like those seats. There is no privacy and since Tim was in the mood to complain about work, I figured privacy was best. They have booths and nice tables in 2 rooms in the back. We could have a better table but we'd have to wait. It seemed the hostess was seriously overwhelmed. I didn't recognize her so I assumed she was new.

She finally seated us amongst many empty tables...and without a wine menu! Number one rule of fine dining - never let your customers sit for more than 5 minutes without someone taking their drink order. Hard to do when we weren't even given a menu to choose from. We waited for about 10 minutes when someone came over and asked if we had been looked after. Apparently the server who approached our table had been told we had been when in fact, we had not. I was not impressed. She did not get us a wine menu or take our drink orders but told us she would send someone over. Unacceptable. When our server finally came over I was losing my patience. When I go out to dinner I want a glass of wine in my hand immediately! This server took our food order and then brought us a wine menu. Okay, that order is wrong but at least there was a sign of hope that we'd get something tonight.

Now here is the clincher. We got our appetizers before we got our drinks! I'm a huge fan of wine and food pairing. I had ordered a pinot grigio to go with our calamari and all I had was water to drink with it. When the server finally showed up with my wine I asked if they were seriously understaffed tonight. She told me no! Now I should mention that one of the chefs was out on the floor serving food. That was definitely a sign that they were understaffed. And I can appreciate that sometimes life happens. But if they weren't understaffed then they had to be seriously incompetent. Maverick's, as one of the better places to eat in town, should also have excellent service. And for years they have had excellent service. Which left me wondering if the move from fine dining establishment to hotel restaurant hadn't hit them in the service department. I have a hard time with poor service when I eat out. Remember, I can make most of these meals at home so when I go out it's for the luxury of having someone else provide the experience for me.

The meal itself was good as expected. On our way out the hostess mentioned that they were short staffed. Apparently she had been there since 6 AM! Okay so that explains why she didn't seem on the ball. It was sheer exhaustion! Why our server denied this, I do not know. I would have appreciated her situation much more and not made the assumption that they had a bunch of incompetent people working if she had just shared the truth with us.

Moral of the story may be to wait until Valentine's day to go out for dinner. The hostess told us they were fully staffed for Valentine's day and they were fully booked. The jury is still out about this move Maverick's has made. Some of it's charm is definitely gone and it seems some of it's more experienced staff is too although I think, due to the longer hours the restaurant is now open to accommodate the hotel guests, that they are spread out more during the day. They do need to work on things a bit. I overheard someone say last night that there is a Keg restaurant going in a new building downtown. That will be serious competition for the steak crowd here in Moncton.

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