WARNING! WARNING! This post is not funny. Today I will be talking about a fantastic restaurant in the DC area. Therefore, I will not be making any vile references to poop, boogers, pee-pee, up-chuck, egregious body hair, road kill, necrophiliac and/or smurf porn, blood, spluge, pus, mucus, or Kevin Federline.
If you are visiting my blog for the first time and are interested in that sick and disgusting kind of stuff. Welcome! Today, we’re taking a brief break from our normal discussion matter, but feel free to proceed here here here and here for some deliciously disgusting times. If you are seriously sick and demented, please proceed here.
Now that I’ve cleared that all up, on to the good stuff.
I am a serious believer in service. Good service. If I am your customer, then I demand that you service me well. If you do not service me well, I will be quite upset. Why? Because if I’m shelling out some serious cash, I expect to be well serviced.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been disappointed by sub-standard service. It just leaves me feeling completely unsatisfied.
I thought there were schools that taught people this kind of thing, but apparently not. Perhaps it’s just bad management. You would think that these people would be well trained by their managers. It really hurts the brand when customers leave unsatisfied, so you would think that management would do anything in their power to help please you. I mean, at least lend a hand to their less experienced staff because everyone loves a threesome. But no, most times they are just ambivalent. Once you’ve given them your money, it’s almost like they feel like you owe them now.
I hate feeling like I’ve been left high and dry. So provide bad service? I promise I won’t be back.
This will never be the case at Café Renaissance.
Never heard of it? I’m not surprised.
I was introduced to Café Renaissance about 10 years ago by one of my old bosses. If he hadn’t pointed it out to me, I wouldn’t have ever known it was there, as it’s possibly the most unpretentious romantic restaurant in the history of all restaurants everywhere.
Why? Because from the outside a Bob’s Big Boy looks classier.
The problem is that it’s located in Vienna Virginia, not Vienna Austria. While Vienna has been listed as high as #4 in Money Magazine’s Best Places to Live, it still has the whole “Virginia” thing working against it. I believe there are specific laws in Vienna that say that buildings must blend in with their surroundings, and being that Café Renaissance is in a non-descript strip mall in between a paint store and an Outback Steak House – it looks a bit like an asian massage parlor might lack a tad bit of charm.
So why, on a very special night, would I subject GF to a drive outside the beltway to grab some grub at a strip mall?
Because it’s one of my absolute most favoritest restaurants ever in the history of everhoodity.
The moment you walk in to the place, you are transported across the pond.
At Café Renaissance, they play it old school Europe.
The room is magnificent – in an old European Flair kind of way.
The food, while not spectacular, is still very good.
But it’s the service that makes this place so outstanding.
At Café Renaissance they will do whatever it takes to keep you happy including swallowing, cupping your balls, and sticking fingers in the no-no place.
It starts right when you walk in and are welcomed with open arms. When I walked in with GF, they knew exactly who were were, and I was even greeted by name, “Mr BlogOr, welcome! We have your table waiting for you. Can I take your coats?”
It’s always a nice touch to have the wait staff call you by name throughout the evening at a restaurant. I dunno what it is, but it makes it feel that much classier.
When we sit down, GF and I order a couple of glasses of wine and chat…..and chat……. and chat. No menu’s are presented. No one interrupts us.
The moment we started getting bored of each other our conversation started to die down a little bit, menu’s were immediately presented without us even realizing that they were keeping a close eye on our table.
In fact, not a moment went by the entire night where we needed to find a waiter to ask a question. They were just always there at the right time. I didn’t need to use the bathroom while I was there, but I’m sure they would have offered to shake it for me if they thought I needed help.
The menu is sort of a combination of fine italian and french food. Each night they also offer a whole huge list of specials in addition to the menu.
But that’s not the end of it. If you don’t see something you’re in the mood for, they’ll make you pretty much anything you want.
We talked it through with our waiter, and GF and I both ended up ordering things that were not listed on the menu. They put together an appetizer for us that included gnocchi with a cream sauce, along with an oyster on the half shell with some sort of tomato-y cream sauce on top of it. The gnocchi were perfect, and the sauce had just the right amount of richness. The oyster was a perfect compliment, and while I have no idea what the sauce was with it, I can definitely say it was great. I might have licked the plate clean.
For our main course we had the Chateaubriand for 2. Not only was the steak not on the menu, it wasn’t on the list of specials either! The waiter just listened to what we were thinking, and made the recommendation. I prefer my meat cooked medium-rare. When the meal was delivered, I thought it was perfect, but GF claims that her meat was still mooing. So I just ate whatever she didn’t want to finish.
Did I mention that the presentation of all the food was fabulous? In fact, everything about their service was about fantastic presentation.
Guys. Listen up. You will LOVE this place. Why?
Because when I say they are all about “presentation” that translates to “they love setting shit on fire.”
I swear half their desserts involve some sort of pyrotechnic exhibition. For a brief moment I thought I was at a Brittney Spears concert when they were serving the “Banana Foster for 2” to the next table over.
Since it was a “special night,” they offered us a Brittney Spears Special on the house, since we had asked about it earlier in the night.
I love the fact that they offered it to us first, instead of just bringing it out. This is magnificent service.
Why? Because good service isn’t about surprise. It’s all about the customer. Before they brought it out, they wanted to first make sure that this dessert would be to our liking. Neither of us really like banana, so we really appreciated them asking us first. At a normal restaurant, they would have just assumed we would have enjoyed it and not given it an extra thought.
It’s going the extra mile that always counts the most, and they were very generous and instead pulled together a nice little sampler of their other tasty desserts.
(neither GF or I drink coffee, but if you do, I would highly recommend ending your evening with the “Flaming Café Renaissance”)
AND THEN? (There’s more?) They brought us each a nice glass of port, again on the house, to end off our meal properly.
Considering the high level of service we received, and our custom orders, how much do you think we paid? $150? $200? More?
That’s the best part about all of this. Our tab only came to $100 (before tip).
It’s the best deal in the DC area.
Looking for a fun evening with a date? Start with dinner at Café Renaissance and finish off the night with some great live music at Jammin’ Java, just a few short blocks away.
Do this, and I guarantee the staff at Café Renaissance won’t be the only ones providing a good servicing.