Sunday, August 7, 2011

Excellent Service

Going out with friends is always high on my list.  As I've said before, going out to a restaurant is a really good time in my book.  Last night we were able to combine the two.  Our friend Aaron is serving in Afghanistan right now, but just got home for a visit.  So, to celebrate his being home, a bunch of us planned to meet at Saki Tumi.

I've blogged before about how much I like Saki Tumi.  But, today, the purpose of this post is to tell you about our waiter.  But before I get started, I'll tell you the Fire Island roll that I ordered is my new favorite and was outstanding.  My friend Laurin had the Giant Spider roll which was also terrific.  Neil went with the Samurai roll.  I didn't get a taste of his, but he was quite pleased with his selection. Jason went with seared tuna while Aaron hit up the crabcakes.  I just can't remember what Robin mind has gone blank.  But, suffice it to say, that no one had any complaints about their food. (Here's the menu.)
Escolar (butterfish) sample

Fire Island roll
Our new favorite waiter
On to the waiter.  His name is Russell.  If you find yourself heading over to Saki Tumi, I strongly recommend that you ask for this guy.  Wait for a table in his section if you have to.  Neil and I are very persnickety about service and when it's excellent, we get very excited.  That can make the entire experience for us.  We ordered a drink and just started chatting.  That led to talking about this blog, a new restaurant that just opened (more on that later) and Russell introducing us to the "Columbia Originals" card.  Let's start there...

How have I NEVER heard of this card? You present it whenever you eat at participating locally owned & operated restaurants.  They swipe the card and you accumulate points for every dollar you spend which then turn into money you can spend in the restaurants.  Brilliant!   I am now a card-carrying member.

Back to the service aspect.  Russell is a genuinely friendly guy.  He really knows the menu and offers meaningful suggestions.  As we waited for our friends to arrive, he brought us a sample of the butterfish sashimi.  See?  That's a small detail by a really good waiter that made a very big impression.  Our drinks arrived quickly and Russell not only puts a napkin under your glass, he replaces them after they get soaking wet!  This is a biggie for me.  I absolutely HATE it when I am served a drink without a bev-nap.  This is SC...our drinks sweat all over the table.  Bev-naps are a critical component that most servers seem to be unaware of.  It's a little tiny napkin that does a huge job.  Don't diss the bev-nap.  Don't pretend the bev-nap isn't important. Revere the bev-nap.

If you check out some of the reviews on Urbanspoon, you'll see some bellyaching about Saki Tumi's prices.  I actually compared three items from 3 different restaurant menus.  S.T. is pretty much right on with the competition's prices, with a couple of exceptions.  But, Neil and I both will tell you emphatically that we'll spend a couple extra bucks if we know we're going to get outstanding service as well as outstanding food.  

Saki Tumi Grill & Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon
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