Customer service is truly a lost art in America. Or, at least in Manhattan. And if you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to go to a Duane Reade, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Everyone that works at Duane Reade is all…
and you’re like…
and they’re like…
So you’re like…
To which they’re like…
Until you finally leave with your overpriced toothpaste and your hair spray feeling all…
That’s why when you stumble upon a place that actually DOES care about their customers, you treasure it and hope that no one discovers it so they can’t take it away from you, except that it’s so great that you also want to tell everyone you know.
Back in late January, my friend and I decided that it was not too late in life to take ballet classes. Adult beginner ballet classes. Because, you know, it’s never too late to become a Prima ballerina. And also, up to this point, I really believed that despite my love of eating, my short legs, and my lack of flexibility, I was always really destined to be a dancer.
Well, friends, that dream is never going to be realized because I looked a lot less like this:
And a lot more like this.
After accepting the cold, hard reality that we will never be cast in swan lake, we decided we deserved a great brunch after the utter humiliation of sadly flailing about in ballet shoes. It was about 10 degrees outside and neither of us wanted to have to go very far, so we settled on a new place that opened up on the upper west side only a few blocks down: the magical RedFarm.
We stumbled in out of the 2nd or 3rd polar vortex (I don’t know, I lost count), and were immediately greeted by the host. It was packed, and we had no reservations, yet somehow they were able to find a spot for us at the communal table pretty quickly. I should note here that we were both in gym cloths, had no make-up on, and looked pretty unfit to be eating at a nice restaurant. Yet…they still welcomed us with open arms.
As I mentioned before, it was bitterly cold and because RedFarm just opened, they hadn’t gotten their “winter door” yet which helps block a lot of the icy air from coming in every time someone enters. So my friend and I were just a little bit cold, but we were okay with it because, well, because wine.
However, the host or owner (not sure which?) noticed us looking a little rough around the edges (and also cold) and DESPITE the fact that the place was totally packed he said, “Girls, I just can’t watch you shivering over here, I’m going to move you to a warmer table.”
I wanted to be all like…
And it didn’t stop there! The entire staff, from the hostess to the waiters to the bartender were just…awesome. Points for knowing the menu, points for knowing the wine list and points for making great recommendations–and bonus points for everyone wearing really cool t-shirts. It felt like a cozy neighborhood joint that had been there forever.
Yet, that wasn’t even the best part. The best part was the food. They take Chinese Cuisine to a whole other-worldly level.
I mean, just look at these adorable Pacman inspired dumplings!
And clearly, anything that reminds me of the 80’s is aces in my book.
Also: the mussels with eggplant & okra. ORDER IT.
Also also: this bizarre chicken stuffed with shrimp thing–I cannot figure out how they made it, but AH MAH GAWD.
When you combine excellent service with an inspired menu, it’s well worth the price of admission.
So the next time you poo-poo the Upper West Side for not being as “foodie” as other parts of Manhattan, give RedFarm a try. And then I want you to write me a note thanking me. Because you will. You will totally thank me.