Thursday, November 07, 2013

My Chesapeake Experience

To begin with, the place is stark, but that’s my problem.  The community waited so long for the Chesapeake to open, but its minimalist look is really unappealing, to me anyway, although my friend thought so too.  The wait staff looked bored, but there were very few customers.  The intense affect (facial and hand gestures), almost mean looking, made them appear unapproachable, a look I’m sure they present with in every day life, a one-face-fits-all kind of deal.  (One must attempt to look engaging at all times, but I digress.)

As we were sitting down at the bar to have a drink and nosh (we had already taken our jackets off and gotten settled), a woman comes over and says, “Will you be sitting at the bar or do you need a table.”  I wanted to sarcastically say, what do you think?  However, I was kind.

The bartender discussed the drink options, and many sounded wonderful – all spirits appeal to me (give me a baby bottle filled with Moët & Chandon and I’ll be fine, quiet).  We perused the specialty drinks – martinis, etc., which we opted for until the bartender said, “You’ll have to work with me tonight because I’m not sure how to make these drinks, but be patient and I’ll see what I can come up with.”  WTF?!  Almost instantly we said and at the same time, beer and screwdriver (too funny).

After receiving our drinks, the bartender gave us menus. It’s important to mention there were four people at the bar (including me).  It took our bartender approximately 45 minutes to get back to us.  He spent at least 25 minutes working on one of those specialty cocktails.  He presented with too much motion, and very little action.  (We were not in a hurry, so I didn’t need to chase after him, but to not be self-aware – COME ON!)

We ordered:  French fries… Brussels sprouts (spelled incorrectly on the menu) with house smoked bacon, apple, maple and sherry, and braised greens.  I was impressed with the portion size, perfect for two.  We were a bit hungry, but not looking for a heavy meal.

The kitchen brought out the French fries and I watched as they attempted to figure out who ordered them.  I could have opened my mouth, but it’s a long bar, and I wasn’t going to scream – THEY ARE MINE!  The guy from the kitchen proceeds to take them back, but the bartender stops him.  The bartender, only after minutes of trying to figure out on his own who gets the French fries goes to his computer and determines they belong to us (the only two people in the restaurant without food).  The whole episode took 20 minutes (yes, I watched the clock).  The fries were cold, but that didn’t bother us.  I was too intrigued by the ineptness, realizing at that moment the staff currently there will not be there in six months (if that long). 

The Brussels sprouts had so much potential, but they tasted as if they scraped them from the bottom of a burnt pan.  The braised greens were okay, but too chewy.

As my friends know, I like to people watch, and I especially enjoy observing larger interactions amongst groups.  I noticed two individuals complain about their meals, which were sent back to the kitchen, and a few more people came into the bar area, and two patrons declined their drinks because one was not what he had ordered, and the other, poorly made.

I’ve had several friends visit the Chesapeake, and the reviews haven’t been great.

I didn’t have much to eat, but I was turned off.  Will I go back?  If my friends want to go – sure!  Will I hold this against the restaurant – no, but I’ll remember!  Will I remain skeptical – absolutely!  Could this night have been a fluke – perhaps!  Do I think this restaurant will survive – no!  There will be turn over, menu changes, and I can even see it becoming something else – a specialty bar (sports bars, etc.).  The latter is expected of any restaurant, but they’ve had plenty of time to work out the kinks. 

To go back to the décor for a moment, it has an industrial type feel, but it misses the mark there too.  (The rock music playing in the background didn’t help either.  For a moment we thought we were at TGI Fridays.  Also, the food commercials on the large screen televisions looked much better than what we were eating.  McDonald’s was looking pretty good…. Seriously!  However, I wouldn’t actually eat anything from McDonald’s.)

Lastly, if someone tells me they had a great experience at the restaurant – that will be music to my ears.  I want the Chesapeake to succeed.  It’s very important for the city, especially the Station North community.

These days, very few waiters impress me, and that goes for bartenders too.  They want those tips, but you have to earn that money.

I had some unfortunate events occur yesterday, much out of my control. They made me sad, but I don’t believe they played a role in my dining experience. I wasn’t sharp to anyone, passive actually, but aware, and the conversation I had at the bar with my friend was probably the bright spot of my day. It’s all over. A new day is here, and I am fine.

If you are looking for a place to eat in Station North… Tapas Teatro.  It never disappoints.  Perfect every time! – paerki

What would life be like without memories? It’s fair to say, there would be no life at all. Memory is our communication, reason, coherence, our action and more importantly, our feeling. Memories create our path in life, developing our psychology and leading us emotionally.

One of the best ways to create and store memories is with video. These simple effortless little snippets of time create diaries and become perpetual time capsules, which justify our walk on earth, telling all with great enthusiasm… I was here! I mattered! I lived! Please, don’t forget me.

Share your views, thoughts and opinions in the written word. Snap photographs so that your eyes can travel back in time, remembering the happy and sad moments that made you the person you were, are and became in life. But, whenever possible, capture video to enhance the memories you leave behind, so that others may pass the essence of your life on to future generations.


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"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

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