I'll reply to your post by cutting and pasting my email response to you of October 18th (much as you have done for your review). I haven't received a reply...
Thank you for your feedback.
I am terribly sorry your dining experience did not stand up to our reputation, which, as you mentioned, would tend to lead you to form a different opinion of our establishment. That and the fact that we have had a loyal following for over 18 years should speak for itself.
I am, you may say, new management. This November will mark 11 years that I have worked at Rocco's. Four of those years were part time serving tables, another four were as part owner and the remaining time as full owner. We had made very few changes to the menu or the way we do things. Tracey is a Red Seal Chef and has been working with the company for nearly 17 years and running the kitchen for the past 8 years.
I only mention these facts to let you know that we are not new to the restaurant nor the industry nor have we changed anything that we have been well known to do for the past number of years.
Our bread is the same bread that we have been serving for over 6 years. It is par-baked ciabatta purchased from one of our suppliers. Very high quality, I assure you. Our kitchen facilities do not allow us logistically to bake our own bread from scratch. We were very busy Saturday evening and your loaf must have missed the warmer or was taken out too soon. Not the norm, but mistakes do happen.
As to the presentation of the salad, I did see it as it was taken from your table. The freshness of the vegetables that we serve can be attested to by the supplier who brings them fresh to us approximately 3-4 times weekly. They are not cut to order, and that is not standard practice in our restaurant. In addition to that, buying local whenever possible means that occasionally the produce is not the picture of perfection that we, as consumers of hot house, imported product have become accustomed to. The fashion in which we cut out onions is to provide colour and flavour to the dish. Small pieces get lost and loose their freshness/flavour faster. The dressing is made in house and is measured per order. It is possible that you receive too much, but from what I saw I would say that you prefer less dressing than we normally serve on that particular dish. These things being said, if you did not enjoy your salad and you attribute that to the fact that is was not fresh I will concede that there is a possibility that something may have been served to you that should not have left the kitchen. I will be investigating that thoroughly.
The Matriciana sauce is made in a traditional manner and reduced to an almost "stewed" consistancy to enhance the flavour. It is one of our most popular dishes. The sausage is delivered fresh weekly with our veal and beef and made at Martock Glen Farm in the valley. I assure you it is a mild Italian sausage. We do not have any other type in the kitchen. The chicken is cooked from fresh and is "no-pump", meaning there is no tenderizer or marinade treatment. Very few restaurants serve this product and although it is more expensive and takes more time to work with we believe it is the freshest and best chicken for our menu.
The timing of the meal would be a function of how busy we were that evening. Dishes cooked from fresh ingredients, made to order, can take longer. There is a note in the menu to that effect.
The chandeliers were brought from Italy 25 years ago and are enjoying their second lease on life having been relocated from our old location across the street. As are most of the fixtures in the restaurant. They have a mind of their own and some days they work and on other days they don't. I would like to think that they are part of the old world charm of our dining room. I am loath to replace them due to their sentimental value to both Rocco and myself. Sometimes just talking to them brings them back to life... I realize that they should be replaced but as I said, it will break my heart to do so.
I do not like to compare the way we do things to other "Italian" restaurants in the province. We all do our own version of food, wine and service, with traditional recipes and methods in mind, marketed toward our own customer base. I like to think that the way we choose to do things is unique and we do it very well. I am sorry to hear that you will not be back, as I feel as though we do have a dining experience that most people thoroughly enjoy.
I do recall delivering your plates to you, and I also recall checking with you to see if you were enjoying everything. I wish I had been able to address some of these concerns in person that evening.
While I hope to be able to impress you on another occasion, I'm not sure that I can say much more to convince you to return. I would send out a gift certificate so that a subsequent visit would seem less risky, if you would forward along your mailing information. If you would rather not, I understand.
Thank you again for your feedback.
Roccos Ristorante Italiano
On 17-Oct-10, at 12:42 PM, **** ****** wrote:
Dear Hannah & Tracey,
It's 6:45pm on a Saturday night, and my wife and I decide to eat at Rocco's for the first time. We had some friends mention that it was a very nice, family owned Italian restaurant..."
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