For our visit in late January 2012, the food was great but the service was shockingly below par. Let me speak to the latter.
Some of the things that we experienced would be disheartening and off-kilter if even in an Applebee's or Olive Garden. But this is Clio with its high prices and a reputation that one would hope means something to them. Read on ...
For starters, our reservation was for 7:30pm. We arrived at 7:25pm and had to wait over 30 minutes for our table. Diners can languish, so I don't hold Clio responsible for that (unless this is due to your own scheduling), but what particularly bothered us was that your hostesses told us several times that ""it would be just a few minutes"" or ""a minute"" when it was not. It felt like we were banished to a sterile area in the front; no one asked us if they could get a drink for us (and I don't mean that we were expecting it to be free, which would have been nice). There were throngs of people at the bar and I had no interest in wading through them to get a drink ... particularly since our ""table was almost ready"" as we watched what appeared to be a separate party of two (that had just arrived) get seated before us.
This would all have been lamentable and not worthy of our ire if not for what happened next. When we were finally seated, it took over five minutes to have our glasses filled with water. Multiple waiters and bus staff passed by without even giving us a glance. Our courses were also not delivered in a timely manner. Several times, we glanced at one another wondering when the next course would arrive.
And what was particularly bothersome and frankly would be inexcusable at any restaurant is that the waiter who was handling the table next t us repeatedly positioned himself directly between our tables. His rear-end was literally 6-12 inches from my face for minutes on end as he explained to that party all about their tasting menu. This was very off-putting ... he apparently was completely unaware at how distasteful this was.
But what really summed up the evening was when our waitress dropped my dessert spoon on my back. She only had to pick up two plates and two spoons and dropped one of them.. And then when I went to touch my back, she did not acknowledge that she had done so. She made no apology about possibly soiling my shirt and was quickly went off to handle another table or such.
When I got home, I could see that my shirt was actually stained and promptly called the restaurant and spoke with the General Manager. He offered to pay for the dry cleaning but was unresponsive to my subsequent feedback and concerns. I never heard back from him ... not even a peep. Out of curiosity, I dropped a note to Ken Oringer and never heard anything from him as well. I guess their unresponsiveness speaks for itself. It may appear as if we were hoping for some sort of compensation for our troubles but that is not the case; I shared the feedback b/c I was already engaged by e-mail with their manager over the soiled shirt and, as a small business owner myself, I am often intrigued by how businesses respond to such inquiries. Sometimes, just getting some acknowledgment that mistakes were made is sufficient enough for a customer. Needless to say they got a below failing grade on this.
Be forewarned and expect poor service from this supposedly high-end restaurant.
My overall impression was that the wait staff seemed like a bunch of rookies and novices. And this does not even factor in that while we were waiting for our table, a waiter dropped bunch of dishes in the dining room.
These operational and service issues really detracted from our dining experience. I was frankly surprised because I had heard such great things about this restaurant.