Restaurant Week in the Triangle is the opportunity for local restaurants to showcase their food and what they have to offer perspective customers and their faithful followers. WRONG! The three- friends made the mistake of selecting the Rye Bar and Southern Kitchen at the Marriott in Raleigh.
We Ubered to Rye’s for our reservation. We were immediately seated and our waitress Katie was outstanding. She was polite, attentive and knowledgeable about the food on the menu. She told us they were trying new selections for the summer menu. The lightening over the table was wonderful.
We decided, after studying the menu, to order the Sweet and Spicy Calamari and the NC Nachos to start. We typically share and sample the various dishes to make sure we are not biased on our review.
Sweet and Spicy Calamari described as fried and tossed with house pickles and sweet chili aioli. It was definitely not what we expected. We were not sure the calamari was fried, because it was hard to identify in the serving vessel. After one bite it was placed to the side. We informed the waitress we did not like the dish.
The Carolina Nachos were edible, but nothing special.
Belle selected the BBQ Corn Waffle, described as smoked pork with honey-braised kale. It was difficult to eat due to being served on a single corn waffle, and because of the cloying sweetness. The ingredients did not marry well. The dish was also not eaten.
For her entry, Belle chose the Heritage Farms Pork Skirt Steak with smoked pimento cheese grits, mustard glazed collards and jalapeno marmalade. The kitchen was accommodating by substituting chard carrots with honey and goat cheese for the collards. However there was no goat cheese to be seen and the carrots had no flavor. The pork was sweet and developed a bitter after taste. This entrée was not eaten as well.
Badboy chose the Zucchini Fritter with Red Pepper jam. The fritter was raw in the center. It was inedible, and was left like so many samplings of the evening – to be taken away untouched.
Badboy selected Honey BBQ chicken with dirty rice and green beans. He liked the flavor of the chicken and the green beans but felt the Dirty Rice was lacking in seasoning. He ate the chicken, leaving the rice.
I selected the Fried Okra with Mustard Aioli. The fried okra lacked seasoning but since I was hungry, I ate, leaving the over powered Aioli behind.
I chose the Heritage Farms Pork Skirt Steak with smoked pimento cheese grits, mustard glazed collards and jalapeno marmalade. The pork was sweet, but developed a bitter after taste – same as Belle’s. The collards were bitter as well. The pimento cheese grits were bland and tasteless. I did not eat the entrée.
The waitress told the Supervisor, Caitlyn Walker, we had not been pleased with our meals. She was polite, listened to what we had to say. The waitress had checked with her to see if the Chef/General Manager would speak to us. Ms Walker told us that Chef Michael Rigot had gone home for the evening. Imagine our surprise when the Chef came to the nearby table to meet an employee’s family. After some prompting, we determined that he refused to talk to us.
The waitress brought our bill and we paid. I asked to speak with the supervisor again. Instead the Restaurant Manager, John Herbert, came to our table. He referred to us as foodies, implying we were trying to get a free meal. He asked if he compted our meal, would this buy him a good review. I quickly informed him no, that we would write up the dining experience as it happened. He then told us that dining was a hit-or-miss experience and tonight for us it was a miss and to have a good evening.
I have stayed at Marriott hotels, eaten in Marriott restaurants and stayed in Marriott resorts and have never experienced such rude and condescending behavior or the poor quality of food and customer service. We three friends will not be returning to Rye Bar & Southern Kitchen. I have contacted the Marriott Corporation notifying them of our horrible dining experience and have agreed to send a copy of the blog.
While cooperate Marriott cares, Rye management has no concept of good customer service or satisfaction.