I’m not one to broadcast culinary misunderstandings, especially when it comes to someone’s livelihood. But in this case, I just can’t refrain — mostly because it seems like the other character in this story is actively trying to NOT make money.
Last night, my friend and I decided to try Peanches, the new-ish 39th Street restaurant from chef and apparent crazy person Pete Peterman. This was in spite of its very polarizing reviews on Yelp.
As we approached Peanches’ storefront, there was a sign posted near the door that read: “Reservations Necessary To Dine. Walk-in’s Are Welcome To Cocktail At The Bar.” I guess I was too busy copyediting the sign in my head to comprehend that I was only allowed “to cocktail” at the bar. Oops.
Upon entering Peanches, I was surprised to find it’s actually much nicer than it looked from the outside. Good sign. It was the last good sign of the night.
We shimmied up to the bar at 7:57 p.m., and were “greeted” with, “Do you have a reservation?”
I explained that we did not have a reservation, but that we were hungry and we’d love to eat at the bar. The bartender told us she wouldn’t be able “to do anything” before 8:30. “Nothing. At all?” I asked, clearly disappointed and confused.
She explained that Peanches is a one-man kitchen and the night was booked — even though there were only about four or five seated tables at the time. We were seriously considering staying; the food looked great. And had she tried to lure us with a wine list or even a freaking piece of bread, we probably would have stayed and waited. But she didn’t, so we left.
Because it’s my “job,” to do such things, I relayed my story this morning on the Food Critics edition of KCUR’s Central Standard Friday.
A few hours later, I got this message from Peanches chef and owner, Pete Peterman, on Facebook:
Emily this is Pete from Peanches, sorry for the misunderstanding last night. We don’t take walk-ins it hard for some people to understand. It was quite embarrassing from the time you walked in last night. I’m not going to go into detail about it. We had a full house last night meaning every table was reserved. I don’t think we are your type of restaurant, that’s fine we don’t want to be everyone’s type of restaurant. With saying that I going to have to ask you please don’t return.
Thanks for understanding. Pete
Call me Queen of the Obvious if you want, but I probably wasn’t going to return anyway. And had he not sent that message, this post wouldn’t even exist. Given the fact that he has a whopping five Facebook friends combined with what I’ve read on Yelp, I’m guessing it’s an account he set up to harass people like me.
Now, don’t get me wrong — I do understand not wanting to overburden a chef so that the seated guests with reservations get the best experience possible. And I understand having a system and sticking to it. But also, aren’t restaurants supposed to, like, draw in people and make money? But this is not a business advice blog, so I’ll stop there. (Cough, cough; hire a line cook, cough. Cough, cough; call it a “supper club,” cough.)
In the end, though, it’s all good, P-Dog. There are plenty of other great restaurants in this city that welcome my business regularly and without advance notice. I always over order, generally get at least a bottle of wine with every dinner out, and I’m a good tipper. Perhaps most importantly, though, when I love a place, I support it with my patronage and my voice.
As Pete Peterman so articulately stated, Peanches is just not my type of restaurant.
Update: Holy comments, Batman!