Last week we enjoyed a fantastic farm-to-table (very unlike the Sysco-truck-to-table restaurants which have proliferated across the South Metro) meal while on vacation in South Carolina. Most everything was sourced from a local farm, which the waiter referred to as “their farm”, and what couldn’t be was sourced from 6 other local area farms and/or sources of proteins such as fish. Being that we had just visited Asheville, NC earlier that same week, a hotbed for the local food movement, it was nice to see a Hilton Head Island restaurant doing the same sort of thing that so many of their restaurants are doing successfully, nevermind the multitude of restaurants here locally which do the same thing.
While the food was pretty darn good, I have to admit that was completely and utterly turned off by the overly attentive service. Perhaps it’s my too-many-years-spent-in-Minnesota rubbing off on me but I did not at all appreciate our date night, sans children which in order to dine at this restaurant you have to have kids 14+ anyway), being regularly and routinely interrupted by the 6 or 7 different workers and the owner himself.
Their attention included telling me exactly how I should eat my meal, scraping crumbs and/or other detritus that had fallen from our forks several times, refilling our water glasses by reaching across the table without asking first, and asking over and over again how everything was after what seemed like each and every bite.
While I was turned off by it and I wanted to say something more direct as my non-verbal cues were not helping the situation, The Wife asked that I just ignore them and continue to pay attention to her instead–a good plan indeed. The question here is what level of service do you expect from a restaurant and at what point does it get to be too much? Would you have said something if it were getting on your nerves? Do you think this is something that was happening because I am accustomed to the standoffish approach of Minnesotans or have you experienced similar service at restaurants elsewhere recently (I haven’t even though I’ve traveled to many different parts of the country since living in MN).
Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear what you have to say.