Our anniversary celebration began in the bar lounge area. Very nice, elegant area. Our table in Herons was ready promptly. Overall it was a very good dining experience. Presentation was lovely. First courses: steak tartar; sea scallops. Second course: frisee salad; signature ceasar salad. Third: wild striped bass; pheasant breast.
Good selection of wines by the bottle. We enjoyed the Patz & Hall Pinor Noir Chenoweth Ranch ?07.
The only misstep would be that the pheasant, although moist & tender had been over salted.
During the course of the dinner I had commented to my husband that I wanted to return the following weekend with family who would be visiting, who also enjoy fine dining.
The wonderful experience ended abruptly when our server, after coming to the table to ask if the check was ?set to go? and my husband replied that it was, returned to our table and said in a very unpleasant voice that could definitely be heard by the next table, ?Mr.____, unfortunately you didn?t give me anything to process.? as she held open the check wallet for all to see. My husband assured her that he had given her his credit card. Just then another server came up behind her & handed her our card. Apparently she dropped it on the floor. We felt humiliated by her actions. A better approach would have been to discretely return to our table & excuse herself, stating the problem. When she returned she gave us a quick ?sorry? and was on her way. We then retreated to the outdoor patio to enjoy our wine by the outdoor fireplace. As we sat there I became more bothered by the way we were treated. We brought it to the attention of the hotel manager, who passed us on to the restaurant manager, who also doubles as the sommelier. We explained our discomfort & humiliation to him. He also said that he was sorry, but in a way that was lacking any sincerity. He said that he would speak to the server, but that ?unfortunately the situation does not warrant any type of compensation.? We were not looking for a discount, but some type of good will gesture that would redeem the restaurant for their servers? lack of tack. We have been patrons of the Umstead in the past, both spa & dining and will not return. My husband?s go-to choice should have been mine as well; The Second Empire, where service and food has never disappointed.