SLIP SLIDIN' AWAY
There are three key components to a really great, successful restaurant: 1) ambiance, 2) cuisine, and 3) service. The Chop House now ranks high in two out of three. But the third may be their ultimate demise.
You can’t beat the Chop House for ambiance. The atrium bar is spectacular – unlike anything else in Toledo. The river view is unparalled. And the décor is spot on. The food is a cut above virtually any restaurant in town. Anything you order from the menu is sure to please. They’ve kept the offerings somewhat limited (unlike some places that have scores of items and none done right) so whatever is on the menu is well-prepared.
The service, however, is quite another thing. When the restaurant first opened, the waitstaff was experienced and polished. There’s a huge difference between someone who needs a job and becomes a waiter as a stopgap economic measure and a professional waiter who does this legitimately for a living.
The restaurant still employs a very few who measure up to the profession, but they also appear to hire anyone with a pulse. Although these would-be waiters make an attempt at knowing what they are doing, they fall short of the mark. Service has become painfully slow and even marginal. They tend to be inattentive, and they certainly don’t understand the menu or the fine points of great cuisine. (They wouldn’t know a béchamel sauce from mayonnaise – nor do they appear to care.) They are almost “robotic,” repeating what they have been programmed to say and understanding none of it. Frankly, some of the bus staff has more panache than some of the waiters.
For those who venture downtown for the once-a-year special occasion dinner, this probably will go unnoticed. But for those who are regular diners (whether here or at other restaurants), this is not just an annoyance but a reason to look elsewhere. They need to right the wrong and hire people who know what they are doing and understand that service is paramount to any restaurant’s success.