Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cool Scenery, Decent Food Shots, and a Letter to Lutsen...

I know you see summer leaves,
hang in there with me I'm catching up on summer restaurant reviews.

: )


Yay! We managed to nab some unsuspecting fool who was pulling into the parking lot, asked her to take our picture........we got one that wasn't blurry. One is all we need, for today anyway.


Here's a couple scenic shots to tide you over, and a few food shots from dinner tonight.

Also.......ha, I'm posting the letter I wrote to the manager of the Resort.....I should say we wrote. I whined to brother Joshy because I was tired, and he is a writer after all ........he got it started, a few sentences into it...let me edit, and well........I kinda took over.
All I needed was a jump start to get me goin, yanno?


A friend of mine and I were customers in the resort’s restaurant tonight, October 10, 2008. We have several issues we would like to address. Upon arriving we found ourselves waiting for our server for some time before she appeared. We had been seated at the same time as another couple, their server (Jane, who we watched, did an outstanding job taking care of her table) had already explained the menu, dinner specials, taken drink orders, and served the drinks, before our server arrived to greet us.
(joshy waiting....and waiting)
The young lady, Lacey, was beyond timid in her service. We not only had to wait for her initial greeting but also had to ask her several times to bring the next portion of our meal. When we did receive our orders, portions of them were lukewarm. When she brought our dinners out, she stood in the dining room holding the plates of food, while she spoke to a couple of other employees, and then finally asked the bus girl to come clear our salad plates. Clearing our salad plates is not a priority. Hot food is. She did not return to ask if we needed anything or if the food was acceptable for the first two courses. She did by the end of service manage to come back and ask if we needed anything else, after serving the main course.

We had ordered the Calamari which had to be returned, it was overcooked.
Calamari should not be tough.
The Bruschetta had little to no taste, and was basically soggy focaccia with a two second grill mark on it, while the balsamic reduction was attractively drizzled there was not nearly enough to flavor the appetizer, and because there wasn't, the basil completely overwhelmed the dish, and I didn’t understand the large pile of mixed greens on the side with no dressing, no balsamic...nothing.
The salads were much the same, flavorless. I had the Caesar, although the croutons were great, My friend ordered the crab timbale. It had potential but again lacked that certain something that would have taken it up a notch, wouldn’t hurt to thro a squeeze of fresh lime or some sort of acidic on it.
The Peeky Toe Crab Crepes tasted as though they had been burnt, we dissected one of the crepes and it was the crab that tasted charred. ????? We sent that dish back as well.
The Veal was food. It’s the only thing that was, well that and the wine._MG_0924
The overall experience was disappointing at best. When one is paying the kinds of prices you are charging, the service and food should be over and above what we experienced tonight. At what point after two dishes are returned is not a manager coming over to speak with us??? Any restaurant I’ve ever worked for, nothing was ever returned and comp’d , without manager approval. I’d say customer service in that department is lacking as well.

(my disappointed and kinda disgusted face) (bleh to the food. )
We also sat and watched the servers fold napkins and polish wine glasses in the dining room, during the dinner service. In all my years of restaurant work, I have never seen side work being done in the dining room during service. It was always done before any customers were seated.
Let me qualify my comments, I have worked many years in the food industry. I was a server, and a corporate trainer for an upscale five star restaurant, that’s only one of my restaurant experiences. I am well versed in most things culinary, proficient not only front of the house but in the back, that means in the kitchen, and I’m not talking about washing dishes, but I certainly have done my share of those as well. I know what I’m talking about when it comes to food.

I am a professional photographer specializing in food photography. I need you to understand I don’t start out unhappy. I’m more than reasonable, and I look forward to good food. Most of us do. This didn’t come close. And unfortunately the article I write (I freelance) will reflect that.

It’s a shame that a restaurant such as yours, with the prices you are charging doesn’t deliver on quality. Speaking of quality, while we waited for the dining room to open, I had the chance to view your slide show of menu items. Great idea, but much like the food, the photography was lacking, images were over exposed, the backgrounds used were amateurish, the lighting was flat, which is not flattering on food.


If you’d like professional images, give me a call, or shoot me an email. Seriously!
(okay so I was pushing it here)
We’ll be up here until Sunday. We’re staying at the BlueFin Inn.
I’m sorry to be writing this letter. I truly wish it had been a letter that was raving about what a great experience we had at Lutsen.
Btw, I shot a few items while we waited, since we had plenty of time. I’ll attach a couple to the email, so you can see the difference.
KathleenBade@2008(These images are copyrighted and my not be used without my permission.)
Kathleen Bade
And my guest:
Joshua Anderson

And like I told Joshy..."We're still on VACATION" and having a great time. That's all that really matters.

I have 32487865223 pictures, we've got some great weather, even if it's overcast......makes all the leaves pop on the trees. Fall is just about peaked up here. What a treat, we thought we'd come up and all the leaves would be gone. This has been just what the doctor ordered for both of us.

We eventually heard back from the dining room manager, his letters were nothing short of rude, he spent most of his time defending his culinary expertise, and insulting me.
What happened to the guest comes first concept, and the customer is always right, even if they're not?

All I hoped for was a sincere "We're sorry your dining experience with us was not what you'd hoped, let us comp you a meal, we'd love to get this right and have you walk away happy and well fed."

I would not recommend Lutsen Resort for your dining experience.
It was so bad I won't even post the link.


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