We don’t encourage actually throwing stones.
The Stone Grille
Meal: Dinner / Weeknight
Price: No Cost (See Review)
Compare to: Redstone Grille
There’s a new crop of upper-middle-class dining establishments popping up, and we recently visited the Stone Grille in Clementon to see what we’ve been missing. Unfortunately, the experience wasn’t one we’d consider even moderately enjoyable.
The restaurant sits in a nice enclosure on a busy Clementon road. It’s definitely a new building and has a modern theme throughout. There are LCD TVs pretty much everywhere within sight, a central bar, and some nice elevated seats for privacy and comfort. The perks, however, seem to end before the meal begins.
After being seated, we waited what seemed like an eternity to get our drink order. After that, we endured a second life sentence waiting for the drinks to arrive; we actually had to flag down another waiter to find where ours was. Since we ordered alcohol, we couldn’t believe they didn’t rush them out. Isn’t the point of these places really to sell as much high-margin alcohol as possible? If the service was the only problem, we could potentially make the experience passable, but the disappointments marched on.
I ordered the sesame-crusted Ahi Tuna with wasabi. The waiter asked if I wanted this ‘on the stone’, but I wasn’t quite sure what this was. I began to explain as such, but then I said ‘okay’. What I later realized is that the whole gimmick of the Stone Grille is that several items are available to be cooked directly in front of you on a searing-hot lava stone. Neat idea, but with no attempt at introducing the concept to us, we were clearly lost.
The tuna arrived sans sesame or wasabi. I realize that I did indeed ‘okay’ the stone-treatment, but having ordered the prepared sesame & wasabi tuna, the waiter clearly should have realized that I was in fact *not* ordering the raw tuna on the stone. I did eat the piece of fish, however, and very much enjoyed it. The assorted vegetables weren’t noteworthy, which will prove a positive in this review.
Autumn ordered the marinated chicken breast, which did correctly come without a stone of any kind. The chicken, though, was severely overcooked and she really couldn’t fight her way through attempting to eat it. She picked on her sides and essentially sat there still with a significant hunger. After we finished, we waited, serviceless, for someone to actually give us a check. Autumn was tempting me to just walk out and leave, but I reluctantly followed the law. =)
We flagged down another waiter who found our waiter and eventually resulted in a bill for us. After we paid almost $50, we asked to speak to a manager. The manager seemed attentive and let me speak my peace. His resolution to the problem was to comp us our entire meal, which was surprising but certainly welcome. I didn’t want the younger waiter to think it was something personal, so I pulled him aside later and simply explained why we spoke to a manager. He took it with a smile and in stride, and my impression was that he understood entirely.
Even with the comp, we’re not going to return. While we can’t imagine our experience is indicative of the typical experience at Stone Grille, there are just too many other places to eat (and review) that will treat us considerably better.
– Management made our crummy experience 100% better
– The raw stone-ready items are probably very good
– Slow service
– Order errors
– Rubber chicken
Autumn’s Score: 1.2
Guru’s Score: 1.5
:Combined Score: 1.35 Chews
Subjective rating: Will not return. Ever!
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