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From: [an eater]
Date: Friday, May 14, 2010
To: eater complaints dept.
Subject: Betel's Reservations are Just a 'Heads Up'
I want to share my experience at Betel which was truly unacceptable.
I went to Betel last Friday night, having made an 8:30 pm reservation the week before. Someone from the restaurant called the day of to confirm. To be clear, neither when I made the reservation nor when they called to confirm did they suggest that my reservation was anything but a conventional reservation. That night, much to my surprise and horror, after waiting for our table for 45 minutes the hostess unapologetically told me that they do not take reservations and that the purpose of my calling ahead and their confirmation was just a "heads up" to the restaurant that I would be stopping by.
If that is their policy you would they would make that clear in one of my two conversations with the reservationist. To charge top prices and have the front of the house run this poorly is truly shocking. A simple apology from the hostess would have been at least comforting, but her only response was "my hands are tied." There are a lot of things you put up with in New York, but terrible restaurant management need not be one of them with all the competition for great choices in this city.
That said, the cocktails were great and the food did not disappoint.