The difference between great and good??
Is it hiring? Training? Of course, it’s many things, but last week we celebrated a night out with friends and began at Toro, the trend setting Tapas bar on Washington St in Boston’s South End. Ken Oringer, the Chef/Owner has numerous successful properties, and he so clearly “gets it”.
Beyond that the place is always packed, the wine is great, and the cocktails (anyone who can make a drink taste good with Yellow Chartreuse has skills!), and the food: it was a thrill watching the orchestration of the staff as a multitude of small plates delivered and cleared, throughout the night, across numerous tables all the while the staff explaining expertly what each dish was in heavy Spanish accentuation (I assume they were expertly explaining. It was, after all, almost Spanish)
Fast forward to Stella, two hours later, for a “last stop” before heading home. When finally getting a couple of seats at the bar, we realized that the room was pretty cold, and we could feel a draft. (20 feet from the 1st front door, which was capping the 8 foot vestibule and 2nd front door)
“Bartender, it’s really cold in here”. Her reply?
“Yea, people say that. It seems to be this corner a lot. I don’t know why”.
As she walked away (pretend she was twirling her hair), we looked up at the rather large vent overhead. Could that be an air conditioning unit we wondered.
A 2nd employee (barback maybe?) approached with glasses and we made mention of the same thing. His response? “They may have the A/C on. Let me check”
He did, and the cold air stopped blowing a minute later.
We enjoyed our drink, and actually would have left Stella sooner, except the 1st bartender was busy pretending to be busy at the register, with her back to the guests, while she was texting on her cell phone.