Durham >Food & Dining > Piedmont
401 Foster St Ste B2, Durham, NC | Directions 2770135.999561 -78.901819
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Central Park
Please improve!!! Durham loves GOOD food! – Similar experience with poor service, and some of the food is very poor quality. The prices are as high as any decent restaurant but we left feeling very let down.
We waited at the bar, then got a table. First words from the waiter were 'have you settled up at the bar?'. OK, valid question, but why not say 'Hello', then go and ask the people at the bar? Not off to a good start. It was busy, but I wasn't offered a drink for the duration of the meal.
The prices are very high for what you actually receive. I don't get many chances to eat out these days so I don't mind spending money, but I do like to be impressed. I ordered the seafood stew, which had 4 shrimp (from Asia I suspect, 6 mussels (one not opened), 4 clams and 2 scraps of snapper. This was about $20! The fish broth was nothing special so the lack of spoon didn't really worry me too much.
I'm very sad about the experience since I had such high expectations, and we're on the lookout for a replacement for Another Thyme. This is a first and last for us, unless the owners acknowledge their problems and improve the service, food and pricing.
Incompetent staff, overpriced average tasting food – The wait staff is completely incompetent and the manager is a pretentious moron. We just got back from Piedmont for Sunday breakfast. It. seemed nice at first. The place looks clean and comfortable. There was an acoustic trio playing music. Menu looked good. Then came the service. The server never said "Hello", introduced himself, or made any attempt to be polite. He seemed annoyed to take our order. Then he disappeared. Our water glasses sat empty for 15 minutes before we had to flag him down. He refilled 2 of them and left the 3rd empty. I thought maybe he ran out of water and was returning with more, but he never did. We sat and waited 35 minutes for 3 breakfast plates. We had Eggs Piedmont, Farmer's Market Breakfast, and Brioche French Toast. They sliced the brioche bread into a giant cake sized slice, so the center was complete mush. The Eggs Piedmont was ok; the eggs were poached well, the spinach wasn't too soggy, but the grilled bread was hard as a rock and the prosciutto was cooked beyond recognition. The home fries were completely lame; no seasoning at all, just fried potato chunks. The waiter never checked on us once, never asked how the food was, or even offered to bring us the check. The manager brought us the check after we flagged him down. I pulled the manager aside to tell him about the level of service we received. I didn't make a scene, I was discrete and completely polite. I told him that the food was ok, but our service was horrible. Without pausing to take a breath, he replied "Then you can leave and never come back." I was completely blown away. He offered no apology or excuse like "We're understaffed", he just said "Leave and never come back." He also said that my party and I were sitting at our table like "Lordly jerks". And we should have looked around to see that it was busy and understood why the service was so bad. It was not that busy; there were several empty tables. I've worked in every staff position in the food and beverage industry. I've managed 2 restaurants that both did over $500k a year in sales. I've never in my life seen a manager respond that way to constructive criticism. This guy is an insolent prick. Had he merely said "Sorry about that, we're understaffed." I would have shrugged it off and gone back in the future for another meal and possibly written a positive review. Instead he treats the people who pay his bills like trash. One of the worst restaurant managers I've ever encountered. No class, no rapport. If I owned this place, I would fire that moron. He just cost the owner money, not just from us, but also from anyone who reads this review and decides to eat somewhere else where the staff will treat their customers with even an inkling of respect. All restaurants make mistakes from time to time. It's inevitable. As the manager, IT'S YOUR JOB to acknowledge mistakes, correct them, apologize, and accommodate the customer for the inconvenience. You don't openly insult the customer and tell them leave. It's stifling that someone would be so arrogant and react that way to justified criticism. Perhaps he forgot that he gets his paychecks from the patronage of customers. Way to show your gratitude. Other negative reviews of this place comment on the exact same issues; below par food and abysmal customer service. Clearly, this was not a fluke. This is how the Piedmont chooses to do business.
Avoid at all costs – My good lady wife and I were enjoying a lovely Friday night date in Durham and had stopped in at Horse & Buggy press for a photo exhibit on birds. Since it was next door, we decided to have dinner at Piedmont.
When we walked in, the restaurant was about 75% full, so we ate at one of the pub tables near the bar. Piedmont is a nice-looking place with a fairly pricey menu ($18 for a pasta dish), so we didn’t have drinks.
The waiter was polite and well-groomed, and he took our orders quickly. After 2 minutes or so, he brought out the bread. It was cold but fairly tasty, with a good crumb and a nice crust.
Spinach salads came out very fast, but were poorly prepared with large, tough leaves, stems not removed. The dressing had a metallic off-flavor and was greasy, clearly made well ahead, perhaps even the day before.
The mains we had were the ravioli and the pappardelle pasta. It took 30+ minutes for the dishes to come out, on cold plates.
The ravioli was mush in some places and hard as a rock in others – it looked like they cooked it, then let it sit in the draining basket for 20 minutes, allowing the pasta in the middle to get mushy and the pasta on the edges to get tough. The sauce was bland.
The pappardelle with pork was very tasty, but had some rough stems from the seasoning. Halfway through we pulled a long hair out from the center of the dish, killing my appetite.
When I told the waiter that the meal was bad and tried to explain why, he put his hands up, said ‘I didn’t cook it!’ and was very defensive. The manager came over a few minutes later and said that since we weren’t happy, we didn’t have to pay, so we could go.
She never asked what was wrong, or why we were unhappy. I have to conclude that this happens so often that they know the food is bad, or they don’t care when a customer has a bad experience.
Either way, we won’t be back.
A must try for local foodies!! – The Rosemarie is one of the best cocktails I have ever had!! And that was just the start of a great evening. The housemade pate was wonderful and the salad using fresh local melon and cucumber was to A++. I've already sent a few of my friends there and my sister as well.
Yummy breakfast! GREAT addition to Foster/Farmer's Mkt area! Undesirable Waitress. – Poor service can out-gun amazing food and atmosphere, as poor food can overshadow fantastic personal service. The waitress was one of the most disdainful people I've ever met, and she seemed so promising, as she approached with her fun workwear of black and white striped knee high socks. But the next visit heralded a fresh faced waitress, no pinching, no frowns, just jocular, efficient, classic service, YAY!
FOOD: SPECTACULAR, and I was regaled by a sweet lil folk/bluegrass band while I ate the second visit, so the waitress, ambiance, and food just knocked the poorly serviced 1st visit out of my "mind's park."
Their shrimp n grits compete with my former opinion of Blu seafood having the best in the Triangle! Loved the breakfast I had the 2nd time around, with poached eggs herbed up with garlic and others, thick perfectly crunchy but not overdone bacon (super fresh!), and delicious sunflower toast. Premium coffee with no need of any addition (I only sweeten or cream less than perfect coffees). Love the vaulted, raw beam ceiling, loft area, bar, and lil nook for their performers (regular occurrence?).
Have spread the good word and will continue! Note: please buck up sourpuss waitress, cuz you're working at a great establishment and should be proud!
Not worth the money. – I spent 8 dollars on a salad that had lettuce, parsley, olive oil and pepper. Thats it. I spent 18 dollars on the ravioli that was meatless AND I had to add salt (twice!). Lastly, the chocolate mousse was super sweet and not rich. I would describe it has whipped chocolate frosting. The service was very good and the atmosphere was really nice (although loud). Overall, I would say it is below average FOR the price and all the hype.
Really gauche – Arrived at 7:30. Lots of empty tables, but the hostess had to "confer " with waiter that he wanted to take me as I was a party of one.
Was informed that they were out of one entree and one appetizer even though they had only been open for dinner for two hours.
When I was brought my $18 dollar ricotta ravioli (meatless - I mean $18? - come on!) I was told flippantly that they were out of one of the interesting ingredients, pink turnips. No apology, no informing me before-hand just a bitchy "here-you-go".
Tres gauche, non-remarkable food, non-remarkable staff. Too bad because the location is great.
Great addition to downtown – This place has a somewhat sparse decor with high ceilings and a finished concrete floor. Generally appealing, but maybe a tad stark. The service and food are excellent. I've had brunch and dinner here and both were excellent. The shrimp and grits was fantastic. The shrimp were extra flavorful and well seasoned. The portion was a bit large but not overpriced.
Try their pate – We came here for an event with a prix fixe menu. I wisely selected the pate as an appetizer- you have to try it! Also, their chocolate cake dessert was absolutely amazing. The service was incredible considering we were a group of 35 or so.
Recommended! – Piedmont is located in the heart of lovely? Durham downtown.
Homemade pastrami, osso bucco, pomme frites.
Pastrami is great - even when compared to the Jewish delis in Squirrel Hill, PA. (Pittsburgh).
Osso bucco was done properly, and rissoto milanese was good too.
The fries - these might be my favorite fries in NC. I've had better in Montreal and in Paris, but these are
really really good.
Alcohol (beer, wines) is priced a bit higher - most people order a drink, and they do target that. There
Bloody Mary with pickled okra is good...
Service is not attentive, but given that it is crowded most of the time, it's obvious why...
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