The fact that this company has a monopoly in Bethesda must be based on some arcane county licensing, rather than on the quality of service. We have used Barwood reluctantly over the years -- only because there is really no other game in town. Typically, their incompetence is limited to poor driving skills or a profound lack of understanding of the principles of local geography. Annoyances that can be transformed into funny anecdotes.
However, two weeks ago we needed an early morning (4:00 am) taxi to National Airport for an international check-in. We usually fly out of Dulles and have always had terrific experiences with Washington Flyer. My husband made a reservation with Barwood the afternoon before our departure with a woman who had absolutely no interest in collecting our information correctly. She did not collect our correct address, phone number, or departure time. My husband corrected her in the course of their conversation, and she became increasingly hostile. This should have been the first clue that we should have hired a private car, but fools that we are -- we thought Barwood was interested in providing a service.
Anyone reading this can see where this story is headed: 4:00 am rolls around and there in no taxi. At 4:05 my husband is on the phone with them, and they insist they are down the block for us. We look, the street is deserted. 4:10 - Barwood calls back to say they are in front of our house -- of course they have the wrong address. At this point, we are packing up our car. We park in regular overnight parking at National, with barely enough time to check in for our flight. Upon return, we had the pleasure of spending $200 to leave the parking lot. Our home answering machine also had a 4:25 am message from Barwood informing us that our cab was ready.
I called Barwood yesterday and asked that a manager call me back. *SPOILER ALERT* no one has called me. But really, why should they be bothered with anything pesky like "customer service"? They are firmly ensconced with Montgomery County government, have a monopoly service, and details like actually providing the service they offer are irrelevant.
Hire a horse and buggy. It will be more reliable.
Exceptional food. Great, attentive service. The favors were all unique and delicious. Not for those who gravitate to the ordinary or bland. I was struck by the care evident in each dish, as well the quality of the ingredients. A real find for Carmel -- not sure how it will do with the tourist crowd.
Exceptional food. Everything was fresh, flavorful, and delicious. So nice to be in the hands of such a professional kitchen.
Service was less professional -- such a shame, as it detracted somewhat from the dining experience.
Good grief, what a terrible restaurant. For years, the Four Seasons seems to have struggled with this location: its lunch/après ski joint. They closed The Peaks after a steady decline and after much money and effort, opened something really mediocre.
We ate lunch there on 1/25/13. The place was not busy at all, but it took FOREVER to be seated and for our waitress to come over? Are they trying to save money with a skeleton crew?
I won't go into how lame the ambiance is. Someone charged them a lot of money for bland decor to match the food.
We ordered chili, a Caesar chicken salad, and cod and chips. Both the chili and the cod and chips were remarkable for how flavorless they were. How can you make bland chili? There was no hint of game flavor or spice in the chili. And the cod -- I felt bad that a fish had to die to make something so devoid of flavor. They killed the fish and then the taste. You had to smother the thing in tartar sauce or ketchup -- ANYTHING - to make it palatable.
Worst of all -- my husband's chicken Caesar came out -- after nearly 30 minutes -- with RAW chicken. So utterly nasty -- and on top of gooey, bottled dressing -- clearly not made fresh. One of the grossest things I have seen in a long time.
The waitress comped the salad and sent over a plate of two warm chocolate chip cookies (for a table of 3????). She was very nice about the event, but I am still puzzled as to how the lunch could have taken 30 minutes to prepare and still come out raw. Blech...
This place is a standout in terms of the worst hotel restaurant meal, let alone Four Seasons meal, I have had in a very, very long time.
For lunch, go up to the Casper lift and eat there. Food is fine, and at least you have a terroir element going...
I wish I could give this half a star. I have no hope that the staff or owners are at all interested in customer feedback, but if this review can save one family from this waste of money, good will have triumphed over miserable service and horrible food.
Go to the Lodge down the street. We went there the next morning and had a better (and hot) breakfast for $7 less and in less time.
Impressive in that it was one of the worst dining experiences I have had in memory. We went there for breakfast on July 11th. The place was empty, except for one person sitting in a booth nursing a coffee.
The waitress took our order and brought us coffee. Then didn't look at us for the next 30 minutes. No refills for coffee, no water. We were jonesing for our caffeine fix, but she ignored us. The troglodyte busboy who wandered the empty dining room would have been entertaining if he had given us water or refilled our coffee.
We were certain we could have coked the scrambled eggs and French toast ourselves in less time than it took for our order to arrive. Sure enough, when the food came, it was all cold. My 11 year old wouldn't touch her French toast, which was telling of the quality. After a few minutes of waving down the waitress (while the troglodyte watched in wonder), we were able to send our food back. The waitress was surly, scolding us that she had been on the phone (!!?), although I had watched her eat as I tried to catch her eye in my vain quest for coffee.
Remember, we are the only active table in the joint.
My husband gets up and tracks down a coffee pot to refill our cups. Troglodyte frowns in disapproval. Why we bothered to get more of this nasty coffee is testament to our caffeine dependency. On an island famous for coffee, they serve a generic Folgers equivalent.
Five minutes later they come back with the food. Get this, this is the best part: THEY REHEATED OUR SCRAMBLED EGGS AND FRENCH TOAST. Too lazy and indifferent to make us fresh eggs given their error. Unbelievable.
I give the place half a star because we did not get food poisoning, which is the only charitable comment I can make. Career advice: Overweight, middle-aged women should not be wait staff if they are misanthropic.
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