Last week saw Alan Richman bemoaning the decaying state of restaurant service after a disastrous experience at M. Wells. This week brings us another close encounter of the lackluster kind, courtesy of Andrea Strong and Jack the Horse Tavern.
On The Strong Buzz, Strong writes that used to be a regular at the Brooklyn Heights restaurant, which had “the charm of a little Cape Cod country inn.” But thanks to her most recent experiences there, she “will never again visit.” Long story short, Strong and her family went to the restaurant to celebrate her father-in-law’s 70th birthday and were allegedly treated very, very badly by possibly the worst waitress in Brooklyn. Between storming off in the middle of taking drink orders, neglecting to bring wine to the table until the end of the meal, and greeting a request for a dessert fork with “You have a spoon, do you really need a fork?” the woman apparently did her best to ruin everyone’s evening.
And to add insult to injury, when Strong returned to give the restaurant one more chance, she was allegedly met at the door by one of the hospitality business’s most inhospitable hosts. “If anyone out there is looking to see how not to run a restaurant,” Strong writes, “please pay a visit to the corner of Cranberry and Hicks and have a gander at the mess of service going on at Jack the Horse Tavern. It is truly a fine example of how to lose customers and alienate regulars.”
We’ve been to Jack the Horse a couple of times, though not in the past year, and found it to be a pleasant enough place with OK service. It’s the kind of restaurant that does well in part because it’s in a neighborhood with few other competitors. The chef’s father-in-law, incidentally, created the murals on Jack the Horse’s walls. Among the bucolic scenes they depict is a mailman delivering the day’s correspondence. Let’s hope that this particular missive makes it to the restaurant’s mailbox.