I am up in Kelowna about 5-6 times a year and hit at least one restaurant for dinner with each visit.
I was very impressed with Minstrel - there is a huge tree in the back patio that adds to the magic.
The food was fantastic - the service impeccable.
I can hardly wait to go back - my next trip is in October!
I have lived in the Okanagan for years. Over the course of those years, I have been to this restaurant a number of times. Until this year it had been a good experience. However this time it took a definite turn for the worse. We took a party of 6 for a University Graduation. It was a celebration so no expense was to be spared! We all ordered a couple of drinks, a couple of appetizers and settled in for a fabulous evening.
We went a little early and the service was good to begin with. Our first drinks were brought right away and our order for appetizers and dinner was taken promptly. That is until the restaurant had begun to get busier with the dinner rush. The appetizers took quite a long time to come and it took quite a while to be able to order a second drink. We had the appetizers and drinks and then sat waiting for our meal for some time. It took quite a while for dinner to come. We ordered quite a variety of dishes between us with 2 of our party ordering steaks. One ordered the 8 oz sirloin medium well and the other ordered the 12 oz rib eye medium. When dinner came, 4 of us got our meals with the two steakorders having to sit and wait for theirs. When the 2 steaks came, the 8 oz sirloin was medium rare. It was almost entirely red and very juicy. The rib eye had no pink to speak of, it was well done. When we told the waitress both steaks we incorrectly cooked, she picked up the plates and took them back to the kitchen.
The rest of us started eating so our meals didn’t get cold. The waitress returned a minute later and laid the same rib eye steak back down in front of the young woman (who happens to be the graduate we were celebrating) that ordered it. She told her that the chef had said that it was correctly cooked and that it was because of the lack of lighting that you couldn’t see it properly. We were sitting by the window in full daylight. There was no mistaking it. Just the fact that the exact same plate was brought back out and put back in front of someone put us all into a state of shock. The waitress said if you are not happy with it I will take it back. The young woman told her she would just eat it because she didn’t want to make a fuss. The waitress grabbed the plate from her and said if you are not happy with it, I will take it back and with that went back to the kitchen.
A couple of minutes later the bartender came over to our table and began to reprimand the young woman for not knowing what a medium rib eye steak looks like and that a rib eye steak is different from other steaks when you cook it, so it won’t look the same as some others. After she had berated the young woman for a few minutes, I stepped in and told her that was enough. That she had made her point and it was time for her to leave. She ignored me completely and continued to berate her. She finally left and we waited again for her meal to come. When it arrived at our table, it was rare. Slightly cooked on the outside and completely red on the inside.
At this point the evening had pretty much been ruined so we asked for a to-go container and the bill. We had originally planned to have a couple more drinks and dessert, but that plan changed quickly. We paid the amount of the bill (with nothing adjusted off) and left.
It was a heck of a way to ruin a celebration dinner. Thanks Minstrel Café, you definitely made it more than memorable in a very bad way!
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