Ups and downs at one of Little Rock’s finest.

Here’s one for you…did you know last Friday night was my first time at Capital Bar and Grill? Crazy, right? I’ve lived in Little Rock for more than a year and have just now dined at one of our city’s most iconic restaurants.

Sometimes, it just works out like that.

And sometimes, even some of the top restaurants like CBG, have off nights.

Friday was an off night.

I’ll set the scene for you: 10-top table, 7 p.m., restaurant bustling. Members of our group arrived at various times, but the accommodating CBG staff immediately sat the first arrivals. This was a nice gesture on their part.

I ordered a Southern Comfortable, one of CBG’s famous cocktails, and one of the better drinks I’ve had in quite some time. Several other members of our party also ordered cocktails. Unfortunately, our first cocktail was also our last, as not one person was asked by our waiter if he or she wanted to order another drink. And we all did. That was at least $100 in drinks the restaurant flushed down the toilet.

A litany of errors ensued—disappearance of wait staff, lack of napkins/silverware, no drink refills, food not coming out at the same time—you name it. Heck, even the restaurant’s nice gesture of splitting the bill (which is not CBG’s policy for large groups), took more than 15 minutes.

I’ve never seen a silent, cross-armed Daniel Walker of Eat Arkansas so pissed. I thought a blood vessel in his forehead was going to burst as he waited and waited on the arrival of his pimento sandwich.

And I bet you’re wondering about the food. Mine was absolutely perfect. I had a pimento grilled cheese sandwich (which arrived way before Dan’s) with a wedge salad. I hate pimento cheese, but was told about the amazing-ness of CBG’s version, and I’ll be damned if it didn’t live up to the hype.

Others at my table weren’t quite as fortunate. I heard the Cobb salad was a complete failure and the steak was just ok.

In the end, CBG has to do better…a lot better. It’s our most famous bar in our most famous hotel, and this type of service just won’t cut it. There has to be consistency between the service and the quality of food and drinks.

Maybe next time.

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Racheal Carter-Ragan August 1, 2013 at 8:48 am

I’ve always had amazing food from them, but I agree completely with you about the service. When we went there for Herb’s birthday (we had a 10 top table as well), even though we made reservations and had a friend go an hour early, we had to wait another thirty minutes for a table. Once we were seated, our server was AWFUL. He was rude, apathetic, and sometimes nonexistent. I’d go back because if you go in a small group of 2-4, your experience is vastly improved. I don’t think they expected to be visited by large parties the way they are, but they’ve had enough time to master it. I agree, they need to get with the program.

Daniel August 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm

A blood vessel DID burst…but it took 45 mins for the waitstaff to notice and bring some napkins to clean things up

Iwasjustleaving August 2, 2013 at 8:55 pm

I don’t believe you should review a restaurant based on a dining experience with a 10 top table. That should be a separate category.

Iwasjustleaving August 2, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Go back and do another review with 2 to 4.

Iwasjustleaving August 2, 2013 at 8:58 pm

It might be just as bad but at least I’ll feel better.

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