august was anything but

May 21, 2009

We had lunch a few days ago at August restaurant in Beamsville, Ontario. It bills itself as “Ontario Inspired Cuisine” – local, home-grown and proud of it. The idea is good but the execution needs work.

To start, the Focaccia brought to the table was a nice thought and I really wish it had remained that way. Instead we were left with raw (kneadable) bread. I learned that there is such a thing as par-baked bread. That started a comedic lunch that is not representative of Ontario’s wine country.

When I pointed out the bread that I had (rudely) kneaded, proofed and scored, the waiter left it at the table without as much as a word. Next I had lentil soup and seafood gratin. Tasty enough but hard to tell the soup from the gratin. Someone at the table had very fishy, salt-free crab quiche. Wine was brought to the table already opened – in wine country!

Here’s where I think they could really improve.

  • train the waiters to respond appropriately to feedback
  • train them in wine service (may be an important thing in Niagara)
  • train them to know the menu
  • keep it simple and cook what you know
  • find your identity – not everyone can pull off local, organic, <insert trend here>

August may have been having a bad day and the waiter definitely didn’t mean anything badly but I probably won’t take another chance eating there.

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