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Monday, February 18, 2008

Foodie fails to fawn

I received the following from a friend who is a major foodie:

I noticed in your Creative Loafing food column that you reported (secondhand) good things about Floataway these days. We are stalwart fans of the place. So we went there for Valentine’s Day. I know: probably not the best night for a restaurant. Nonetheless, we had by far the worst meal that we’ve ever had there — and we’ve eaten at Floataway a lot over the years. Everything about the experience was bad: startlingly inept service (an almost entirely new staff); a diminished, unremarkable wine list; and (worst) muddy, gummy, over-salted, half-hearted cooking. Even the basic rough material of the food — the vegetables, the fish — seemed second rate. It didn’t even seem like we were at Floataway.

Astonishingly, Annie herself was there, though not cooking. It seemed like less than just an off night and more like a paradigm shift in what the place is all about. (You know that they opened that new bar/lounge space.) I don’t know if you’ve ever had the experience of a meal being so disappointing that it’s actually embarrassing … that you don’t want to make eye contact with your server … that you just want to slink out of the restaurant. The meal was so bad that, upon my very specific (though painstakingly polite) complaints, they didn’t charge us for the meal. We just paid for the wine and left a tip. We had to console ourselves with the boxes of chocolates we each bought each other.

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