HOTELS/RESTAURANTS REVISITED - HOTEL INDIGO - BISTRO 72 - RIVERHEAD, NY
I recently revisited Hotel Indigo and Bistro 72 last weekend on February 9, 2019 which was actually two years to the day that I published my first review of both the hotel and restaurant. My experiences this time have far changed since my last visit and not so much for the better...
(ALL PHOTOS PROVIDED VIA GOOGLE. THESE WERE THE SAME PHOTOS FROM MY FIRST REVIEW.)
The initial walk into Hotel Indigo was very much like the first time around. We were warmly greeted with friendly staff and helped quickly. This was the first time that we had visited the hotel and were given a first floor room. I will get back to that in a second. The room, like the photos above, was very nice and clean. Just like the first time around. Usually I am not one to complain about a first floor room but since we were the third door away from the lobby and right by an elevator, it made for a very loud night when my wife and I attempted to turn in for the night. I had never noticed the noise levels that came from the lobby before due to usually having rooms on the upper floors. We could hear everything. I feel bad for the person who was in the first room from the lobby. I believe that some sort of partition or wall with a door should have been installed just to allow their guests to get a night's rest. The rowdy crowd and the uncomfortable bed made for a very tough night when trying to get any sort of rest. I am all for people having fun especially on a Saturday night, but even at the late hour that we turned in we should be able to shut our eyes and not have the sound from the party in the lobby/banquet below us keep us up all night.
(PHOTOS TAKEN BY JOHN BOCCELLARI)
I just want to start off by talking about Bistro 72's manager, he was the man. In fact since I do not know his name, I
will call him The Man. See The Man would look at whichever staff member he was going to delegate something to and just look at them then do a cool hand motion and they would know exactly what he meant. This guy owned the room and he ran a tight ship. He was everywhere at once and lead the team successfully. I feel good managers don't always get enough credit and this one was outstanding. Thank you for your hospitality.
The paragraph above was from my review two years ago. The manager that I praised so much above was definitely not in the picture this time around. My wife and I loved Bistro 72. We always came back because we knew that we would get great food with great service and hospitality. Again, this was a very different visit.
The restaurant seemed like it was managed by the hotel completely this time around. In the past, Bistro 72 had it's own feel to it and identity. This time the restaurant felt like a hotel restaurant with a scared manager running around the dining room who looked like she had no idea what she was doing or how to read her guests when it came to service opportunities and ambiance. The service that my wife and I received from the server was something that I really cannot refer to as service. She was a ticket reader or better yet a button pusher and forgot about us completely once the order was taken. I also feel that the restaurant was understaffed for the evening which says a lot when they were never full while we dined there. Bistro 72 does not have a lot of seats anyway. We had a table with a larger party beside us and due to the way the tables were arranged, staff members and guests would squeeze between my table and the other. This was cause someone's rear-end to brush against either me or the table quite a few times. It was not pleasant. But for the sake of reviewing my experience, I sat through it. Our server apologized each time that she did it, but I was just waiting to see if they would offer another table. They never did of course. My wife and I just kept trying to physically slide the table further away from the other one as much as we could. It was weird. The food was good, I really enjoyed my Braised Short Rib. However the service took the experience down a few notches for me.
The entire experience suffered from beginning to end. Besides the long greet time and hospitality that seemed to lacking I will give a few examples that I usually do not let get under my skin but when they all happen in one sitting, you can imagine someone being upset. The martini I ordered that you see pictured above was ordered slightly dirty. I had to remind the server that it should have come with the olives that you see in the glass which were absent when it first arrived. Our drinks also took about 10-15 minutes to come to the table. They were not that busy at the time. The floor was literally shaking from the loud and deafening music that penetrated from the downstairs ballroom below us. The restaurant had live dinner music that you could not hear due to the DJ below. You had sound coming from all around. It took away from the experience. The menu did not have the great and exciting entrees of old like they used to have and it more then less reminded me of a hotel room service menu (by the way, it was actually also the room service menu). We ordered new drinks when the entrees were served. My wife ordered another glass of wine and I chose to opt for a beer because I thought it would be quicker to get since it only had to be poured from a tap and not mixed like my Hendrick's Martini. Our second drinks never made it to the table. We finished our meals with empty glasses of water and no second rounds. Our server walked passed us about a dozen times with me purposefully making eye contact with her. All she did when we locked eyes would be to look down to the floor and ignoring me when I would signal her over. She did this until she finally came back over to us after our plates were cleared and then said, "hey let me go check on those drinks for you." My eyes almost popped out of my head. I just told her to cancel the drinks and asked for the check, we would be going somewhere else for dessert.
My wife left the table to head back to our room briefly before we would leave the hotel to get some dessert. I sat waiting for the check. I then saw our server walk to our table with some sort of chocolate mousse cake. At least that it what it looked like. She apologized and said that since she forgot about the drinks, she was able to get us dessert on the house. It was a nice gesture. It's never one that I am looking for, but I still appreciate the effort. Then I looked at it. Have you ever seen what happens when whipped cream is left on a cake too long. It's what we in the industry refer to as "it died in the window." The whipped cream was completely melted. This was a "dead" piece of cake. She did try to cover it up with fresh cream, but it was too late. I tasted it just to see how old the cake was. It was completely warm throughout and the the melted cream was pretty disgusting. I wish that I took a photo of it.
My wife and I had been going to Hotel Indigo and Bistro 72 for years. We only missed it last year due to my wife's pregnancy. As you can tell, we left the next morning more than disappointed. We are not people that complain or cause a scene. We just simply do not go back. We already started to plan out our yearly trip for next year at a new location with new activities. I hope you notice that I did not really dicuss the food at all at Bistro 72 besides briefly stating that we enjoyed the food. Sadly the service was so bad that it outweighed the food and made us decide that we do not want to give Hotel Indigo or Bistro 72 another chance. We are moving on from them. I am not even going to score this visit because it just pains me too much to do so.
Hotel Indigo and Bistro 72 are located at:
Since I am not recommending them, I will not inform you on how to book a room or a reservation with them.