We arrived early for our table with the intention of having a drink beforehand. It was busy and the wait staff seemed a bit frazzled. Anyway a short wait later, someone came to talk to us and she couldn't seem to find our booking on the two pieces of paper covered in handwriting they use to log bookings. I explained we'd booked on the Friday afternoon so she gestured to one of the pieces of paper and indicated if indeed we had booked then it should be there so I looked down and found my name and number but it had been scribbled out. She disappears and says she'll let us know what's going on.
Well we order some drinks at the bar ourselves and wait. The waitress that saw us returns but not to speak to us and we see her wandering around lots looking somewhat stressed which doesn't really help us relax. Anyway 15 minutes after our reservation time we're shown to a table close to the kitchen in a little nook along with a large table of people.
Our waitress comes to take our drinks order and she is a little brisk. We ask for some smoked almonds as we decide and our brisk but efficient waitress gets these to us quickly.
We enquire about the tasting menu and she pretty much barks at us and says we're too late as it takes 2 hours but it's not really our fault we're late. Anyway she says she'll ask the kitchen and looks up into the kitchen and must have had a mouthed conversation with someone as she then says to us that we can have it if we want. We decide against it and opt for some startters and mains instead.
Main courses were a honey glaxed lamb neck with a tomato risotto made of orzo pasta a venison plate with venison schnitzel, sausage, green beans, potatoes and caramelised shallots and jus. Both dishes were lipsmackingly flavoursome. I love the orzo risotto with the tomatoe broth. The lamb was sweet and tender too. The venison was tasty. I'm not a huge fan of venison sausages as I find them too lean and dry and these were similar but they were only small so I ate it anyway. Steve liked the sausage. The accompaniments to the venison were yummy especially the caramelised shallots.
We cannot fault the food. It's wholesome and tasty and rustic and great for sharing. The brisk service meant that we didn't really want to linger though and we actually didn't bother with dessert and headed home. If service had been friendlier and warmer I think we'd have had a second bottle of wine and dessert but we just didn't feel welcome enough to stay any longer.
The final staff encounter was when our bill came and there were some starred items. The waitress informed us that there had been a few mistakes but they'd been rectified so it was correct now - it was not really an explanation or an apology - more of a don't ask any further questions, just pay it as it's right kind of instruction and if we are quibbling they probably overcharged by $2 but for the sake of £2 I wasn't going to argue and have to stay there longer!
Loved the food but we were happy to leave and walk home which is a shame really but I guess so long as they're as busy as they are and people return for the food then they don't really have to make people feel too welcome!