Monday, March 14, 2011

Lombardi's Resturant

During a recent trip to Casino Rama, I was fortunate enough to stop in and grab a bite to eat at a wonderful Italian restaurant called Lombardi's. 

The menu was delectable, from the multiple pasta dishes to the wide variety of appetizers my mouth was watering just reading the menu. 

The restaurant is a must stop for casino guests, the reviews are what made the choice for me when deciding where to eat during my visit. The casino offers several different types of resturant, but none seemed to have the same charm as Lombardi's.

When you first walk into the restaurant you are greeted by two lovely hostesses. I found this intriguing, as usually restaurants only have one hostess on at a time. This added to the experience as we were never without service.

The service at the restaurant was incredible, besides the attentive staff, there was not one question the service staff could not answer. I asked about different drinks, menu items and the server knew everything. She knew what the cooking process was for each item, and how each drink is made. It was clear that training is a key factor in becoming a certified server at Lombardi's.

To give you a picture of the restaurant here is a sneak peak at the appetizer menu: 


Lightly seasoned Calamari, served with a Mignonette Sauce  
Caesar Salad tossed in Casino Rama’s Signature Caesar Dressing 
Our “Signature” Salad 
Fresh Garden Vegetables and our Zesty Italian Dressing 
Tomato Broth, Trio of Beans, Chorizo Sausage, Reggianno 
Ripened Tomatoes, Frisée, Radicchio, Arugula, Fresh Herbs, Bocconcini Cheese  
Roasted Peppers, Pesto, Olives, Eggplant, Mushrooms
Tossed in White Wine, Garlic, Fresh Herbs, Red Bell Peppers, Roma Tomatoes 
Grilled Jumbo Shrimp, Chilled, Chili Cocktail Sauce 

Lombardi's restaurant was an quiet the experience, I would recommend to anyone stopping in at Casino Rama. The restaurant will receive a: 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Herb & Sage

          During my reading week, I spent most of my time back home in Barrie and discovered a new restaurant that peaked my interest.  The restaurant is the only one of it's kind and was created to appeal to the healthier of appetites. 

The location of the restaurant really speaks to the character which the owner wanted to show.Located at the south end of Barrie, it allows people wanting to experience intimate dinning to just have a short drive or stroll.
When I first walked into the restaurant I was surprised with the maturity of their service staff. The hostess was friendly and was very educated with the menu. What is interesting about this particular restaurant is that every night has a chef’s special. They offer a three course meal and the chef surprises you with his choice of appetizer, entree and dessert.
The service was impeccable and the food was delicious. I found the vegetarian selections were very pronounced on the menu. The salad selection of the menu I found the most intriguing. Here is a look at the salad selections Herb and Sage offers, each of which can be turned into vegetarian selections: 
Beef Kebobs on Field Greens $12 
beef kebobs on a salad of field greens with our balsamic vinaigrette 
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad $13 
crisp romaine, homemade croutons, real bacon bits and Parmesan in our creamy Caesar dressing topped with grilled chicken breast. Salad only $9 
California Chicken Salad in Raspberry Vinaigrette  $14 
roasted chicken on a bed of California Greens, red onions, red peppers & strawberries with our raspberry vinaigrette, Cheddar and walnuts 
Cajun Beef on Thai Salad $14 
strips of tender Cajun beef on a bed of julienned Nappa cabbage, carrots, celery, peppers, red onion & cilantro tossed in our sesame Thai dressing 
Pork Tenderloin Skewers with Greek Salad $15 
fresh romaine, red onion, peppers, cucumbers, Kalmata olives & Feta in Greek dressing served with marinated pork tenderloin skewers. Salad only $10 
Grilled Salmon with Spinach Salad $15 
fresh Atlantic Salmon grilled and served with a baby spinach salad in a citrus ginger vinaigrette. For a flavor expedition ask for Tandoori salmon 
Herb and Sage located at 559 Essa road, unit 6. The restaurant will receive a: 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Lakehouse

  Located at 3100 North Service Rd. Vineland, ON, this beautiful restored home is considered a Niagara Landmark.

  It's location creates and atmosphere to enjoy, with lake side views and decor to match. The patio which sit just metres from the lake offers breath taking views.

  Not knowing much about this restaurant I did some research before beginning my service-test, and what I have found was nothing but compliments. The Lakehouse underwent serious renovations several years ago on a little show called, Restaurant Makeover. Knowing the economy was faltering the owners decided to revamp the place, creating an at home feeling for their clientele.

  Last week I decided it was time to give the Lakehouse an opportunity to see what all the raves were about. When you first walk in you notice the beauty of the place right away, with its at home charm and spectaculars views you gasp for a minute in the beauty.

 Upon seating us our hostess let my date and I know of the daily features, and introduced our server to us.The service was incredible, to say the least. We were suggested items off the menu which included their baked brie appetizer, and the gnocchi pasta. These items are must haves. Lucky enough for the evening we were seated in a prime location right by the windows of the restaurant and could see the skyline of Toronto.

  When we were finished eating our main dishes the manager on duty came over to ensure our evening was going well. In the industry most manager only come table side when there is an issue, the Lakehouse instead asks about your meal instead of waiting for a complaint from a valued guest. I had nothing but praise for the service received and the quality of the food produced.

The Lakehouse is a place where I intend to visit as often as possible. The Lakehouse will receive a:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Johnny Rocco's Resturant

        Johnny Rocco's located on the corner of Glendale ave. and Hartzel road is a sight to be seen. The beauty of the interior is hard to ignore, with an open concept kitchen and beautiful decor Johnny Rocco's gives you the feeling of enjoyment from the moment you walk through the doors.
          Today I was lucky enough to enjoy lunch at Johnny Rocco's. Upon walking through the doors I was instantly greeted by a friendly hostess who was willing to re-sit my guest and I, as we were uncomfortable at our first table.
         Without hesitation our server came over right away and introduced herself. I enjoyed the fact that she recommended selective items on the menu and offered us a wonderful tasting cocktail. 
          After ordering appetizers we received a promptly  two bite check to ensure quality of food and beverage. She went above expectations and noticed both my guest and I only had a quarter of beverage left and brought over two waters to ensure we were comfortable. Noticing that I was in deep conversation she allowed us to enjoy our time together and quickly dropped off our bill. 
           When we were ready to pay for the meal, our server noticed I grabbed by debit card and instantly brought over a debit machine. I was so pleased with the overall experience at Johnny Rocco's I would recommend anyone to enjoy a quick lunch or intimate dinner at this beautiful location. 

Johnny Rocco's will receive:


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Perkins Family Resturant

Located on Lake street in St. Catharines I have grown to love the food at Perkins family restaurant, but have yet to have a good experience with service. In fact I would consider it the worst service staff I have experienced.

Last Thursday I went to Perkins and the service was very slow and not helpful. The hostess'  did not know where to seat us even though half the restaurant was empty.

When we were finally sat, we waited for nearly 10 minutes for a server. During the ten minutes we attempted to call/signal a server, but were just ignored. On this particular day we were on a time restraint and let the server know we needed to be out in less than an hour. The server notified us that it was easy to make this happen and there should be no issue. 

After waiting for our meals for 35 minutes I waved our server over asking if she knew how long the meals would be, she informed us she had forgotten to ring in the order and would get the food ready as quickly as possible.Knowing we needed to get out in less than 20 minutes I asked our server just to box up our food.

Normally when there is an issue with food or service a manager is notified and will come over to the table to try to make the guest happy. Guest satisfaction ensures guests leave the restaurant wanting to return. A manager never came over to talk to us, so I took the liberty to ask to speak to a manager. 

The manager had a snotty attitude, she seemed to care more about the dollar amount on the bill instead of guest satisfaction. The attitude she gave off made it easy in the deliberation on how to rate Perkins.

Perkins which is considered to be a “family” restaurant did not make us feel like we were valued guests. The food was great, but as for service I would rate Perkins:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Keg Steakhouse & Bar

 "Quality, comfort and value are the three ingredients that make the Keg Steakhouse Bar & Grill like no other." 
 St. Catharines Keg

When people think of the Keg, they essentially think of their incredible food and service, I would have to agree. The Keg has been my favorite restaurant for years. Not once have I left feeling unsatisfied. 
Last Monday evening I went in for dinner at the St. Catharines location. I decided for the evening I would sit bar side. When you first walk into the Keg, you are always greeted by a friendly hostess who is always willing to answer any questions, and Monday night was no exception. 
When I first sat down with my date, we were one of two tables on the bar side. Thirty minutes later the bar was almost completely full. The girl who will remained unnamed was the only server on and got overwhelmed by the amount of tables sat in her section. Now in these types of situations it is no longer the servers issue, but managements. 
The server knowing she would get flustered came over and explained she was the only bar server on and was doing the best she could. I appreciated the fact that she knew she was going not going to give 100% and was polite enough to let us know if we needed anything the Keg "team" was available. 
The overall experience at the Keg was amazing. The food was incredible and even though the server was overwhelmed, the team service at the Keg shined through. Dinning room servers delivered food and created a calm atmosphere, knowing they were under staffed. 
As a result of not getting to experience one-on-one service at the Keg, I will only be giving a star rating on the general service received Monday evening. I would recommend the Keg to anyone who wants to receive great service.
The Keg will receive:



Monday, January 31, 2011

Welcome Guests!

Welcome to Serve-This!
To those who know me, I can be quite the critic of food service. Having worked in the hospitality industry for years, I have seen what it takes to become a great server. Through intense training processes servers are given the opportunity to create long lasting bonds, gain exceptional communication skills and make incredible money.

Why write this blog?
To get the big picture you need to understand the basics of food service. Here is the basic outline:

  • Guest greeting in less than one minute
  • Introduction of yourself, and features you offer
  • Beverage order followed by timely delivery
  • Ask guests if there are any questions regarding the menu ( allergies, modifications)
  • Obtain guests food order
  • Food delivered for appetizers less than 10 minutes, entrees less than 20 minutes
  • Upon food delivery, server ensures accuracy of food order
  • If guests beverage is 3/4 done, suggest a refill
  • 2 bite check- meaning check within two minutes for guest satisfaction with food
  • Now when it comes to clearing, finished dishes sever should ask if the guest would like them to clear the plate (some guests may find it rude if you start to clear, while members of their party are still eating)
  • Enquire about dessert, coffee or tea
  • Drop off bill within a minute of last beverage or food order
  • Ask guests if they require debit or credit
  • Upon payment thank the guests for joining you 

For me it is always about the experience for the guest. If the guest leaves unhappy you as a sever did not do your job. 

Each week I will test out a new restaurant. To ensure a variety of restaurants, I will test chain restaurants such as: The Keg and Red Lobster to smaller owned restaurants such as: Lester B's and The Lakehouse. I can not wait to start this process to see what the Niagara region known for their hospitality has to offer.

If there are any restaurants you would like me to analyze feel free to comment or contact me at