New Heights, But Only If You’re Not in Any Hurry

Our evening at New Heights started off well enough, with the manager noting I had made the reservation via CityEats. What did I think of their service, he asked. Apparently, they were trying it out, but still using Open Table, so he wanted to get our view. Unfortunately, before the evening was out, we offered our (unsolicited) opinion again – about the service at New Heights.

Is it sushi? Or is it watermelon and heirloom tomato salad?

The good: the food was very good. My appetizer of watermelon salad, looked just like sushi, and it was a wonderful juxtaposition: what the eye sees vs what the tongue tastes.

My main course of rockfish was delicious as well. The fish was flavorful and well cooked. The medley of wild rice – which I often find to be dry – and the vegetables, were lovely.

My drink, a New Heights gin rickey, was refreshing and citrusy. While generally not a gin fan, I found the drink to be tasty enough that we ended the night at the Gin Joint downstairs, where I tried another gin – one from the list of 50 or so they had on the menu, listed in groupings of dry, spicy, citrusy, fruity and I’m not sure what else. Frankly, I had no idea gin came in flavors other than simply “gin.”

The bad: service was atrocious, to say the least. We were sitting for 20 minutes before our harried server came by to ask if we wanted a drink. He was very nice and apologized for the wait. No big deal. Then another 30 minutes passed before our drinks showed up. Meanwhile, G needed a refill of water. Sure it was cooler than the past few days, but we had walked to New Heights and it was still a summer evening out.

Another server asked if we needed drinks. Told we had already ordered, she said she would send the bus girl (curious term) over to refill our waters and bring us bread. Great. Alas, we would wait another 10 minutes.

By the time our appetizers came, we were famished. Good thing the bread basket came as well, because it would be another 30 minutes before our main courses made an appearance. In the meantime, we ordered our wine from the friendly manager – I think our server just forgot about us, that or had our table taken from him.

So while the food was quite good – fresh, flavorful and creative – and the drinks were good enough to convince me to give gin another look (or taste), the service was a major detractor. The manager explained that there was a large group that set the entire kitchen back – not that it was our headache, he clarified. I appreciated the explanation, and I hope that it was a one-time slip up.

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