First, see my other posts on when to complain. Remember, your name and your word are on the line when you write, so make sure you mean it. This is not a lottery! That said, here’s a sample expression of concern about a meal.
Dear Service Director:
I am writing to express my profound frustration and disappointment with my January 6th dinner at Café B. I went to your restaurant that night with high expectations. Not only were my expectations not exceeded, they were not met.
My concerns revolve around two primary areas, pacing and dish preparation. Regarding the former, we were rushed through our courses after waiting half an hour for a table. As for the latter, on that particular night, the food was not up to the B. name.
First, our wine arrived well after our appetizers, though I had ordered it to complement them. As a result, we were left with only water to accompany our appetizers and more wine than we needed to accompany our entrées. The courses were also brought out almost on top of each other. Additionally, our coffee, which we specifically ordered for after the dessert course in order to make the heretofore rushed meal more leisurely, arrived with the desserts. The server either wasn’t listening or wasn’t on our side.
I was at least as surprised to find several problems with the food itself, harder to understand even on a busy night. The amuse bouche of tuna was rubbery and stuck to the plate. I presume it had been prepared well in advance. Similarly, the sauce on my spouse’s ravioli had congealed. Finally, my lamb was so salty as to be difficult to eat. Why not make an issue during the meal? Simple. I wanted to preserve what I could of the evening.
On our honeymoon in Provence my spouse and I never had a bad meal. We certainly didn’t expect one at a B. restaurant featuring Provençal dishes. I am sure this experience was a rare aberration from your usual high levels of service and food quality. Unfortunately, it occurred during what should have been a very special evening.
Fulano de Tal