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Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Return to Flip

Just a few days after posting "Flip at Bloomingdale's" I received an e-mail from Bloomingdale's regional manager of restaurants.

... I just wanted to take the opportunity to apologize for the flaws in our service. Your blog was comprehensive and well-written, and your points are all well taken. Your experience does not reflect our standards of service and we used your blog as an instructional tool for the staff to remind them how important it is to adhere to our standards 100% of the time. I do hope you come back to try us again. I hope to exceed your expectations. In fact, have the host or manager call me and I will come down and introduce myself...

Never one to turn down a personal invitation to dine, how could I not go back?

After running a few errands in midtown, I headed east along Central Park South and shortly thereafter, arrived at the Lexington Avenue entrance of Bloomingdale's. Arriving at Flip, on the lower level, I waited for the host to return to the podium who then escorted me to a banquette table for one with a view of the entire restaurant. Immediately after seating me, he removed the additional place setting. I was already impressed...

A complete set of shakers and a clean dining room at Flip.

The first thing I did after being seated was to inspect the floor and banquette surrounding my table. Not a crumb. I was also glad to find a "specials" menu on my table--something that was missing on my last visit. After selecting a cocktail, I browsed the specials and instantly knew I would be ordering the Brie and fig burger: our refined (wagyu) blend burger topped with Brie and fig compote on a plain brioche with steak fries. ($18)

My server, Megan, quickly brought my "mango flip," a mango purée and 'champagne' (St.-Hilaire) bellini.

My table set with everything I needed...

Megan even brought me the bottle with "a little extra champagne." Another thing that impressed me on this visit was the signature Flip coasters, something I'd never seen there before.

I'm almost 'fine-dining.'

Flip's manager on duty greeted me with a smile and made his round of chatting with guests while Megan returned to top off my mango bellini. Shortly thereafter, my burger arrived and as Megan placed the plate before me asked, "Would you like any mayonnaise or mustard to go with that?"

"I'll take some mustard."

"Would you like yellow or dijon?" (I just about fell off my chair)

"I'll take the dijon."

I was excited about tasting my burger and quickly went about peppering the fries and removing the top bun. (I rarely eat the top bun on burgers)

Special of the day...

wagyu beef topped with Brie and fig compote.

I ordered my Brie and fig burger medium rare, even though I was a bit apprehensive about it; but they did have an "A" grade posted at the front of the restaurant... I told both the server and the manager that my Brie and fig burger was, perhaps, the best burger I've tasted in NYC. Perhaps that was a bit of an exaggeration, but the burger was quite good!

Needless to say--fully

After Megan cleared my table, she asked if I'd be interested in coffee or dessert to which I had to reply, "I need a few minutes to rest..." By this time, the restaurant had become quite full with what seemed to be happy diners.

Late lunch (or early dinner) at Flip.

As I relaxed, taking in the sights and sounds, I noticed: clean and properly set tables; and a steadfast host at the podium. A few moments later, Megan returned (with the inadvertently removed dessert menu) and took my order for S&S cheesecake. The cheesecake was nothing to rave about, but it did have a nice crust at the end. All in all, Flip certainly redeemed itself on this visit and I would definitely dine there again. (as long as one of the better servers are working)
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