Attention to finer details is an element of service that moves a restaurant higher on my list. Al Biernat's of Dallas is one of the finer examples.
Al and his management team are continuously working the floor, actively scanning throughout all areas of the restaurant, seeking out opportunities to make diners feel welcome and appreciated. Outstanding service is an obvious priority, and on the rare occasions I have experienced anything sub-par, recovery has been impressive. Just how deeply does this importance of service stretch?
On a Friday night, early for a reservation, my wife and I turned to the busy bar for a pre-dinner beverage. There must have been fifty people seated and crowded around the sweeping, half-moon shaped bar, but I lingered for only a few seconds at a far edge before one of the bartenders approached me. I asked for Buffalo Trace neat, and when he presented our drinks he said, "I'll only charge you for one drink. There wasn't enough (of the Bourbon) for a full drink." In the glass was enough that I would not have been disappointed had he not called attention to it.
A few minutes later, thinking I would have a full pour of another brand, I turned back toward the bar. The same barman met me while squeezing his way out of the bar into the crowd. "I was just going to check if we have another bottle." he said to me, hurrying past. He reappeared after a few moments with a large smile, new bottle in one hand, and an already fully-poured glass in the other. He was understandably pleased to delight me, even as he promptly turned his attention to another customer.
This is the attentiveness of just one member of the staff, shown in ten minutes in the chaotic bar, while simultaneously caring for dozens of others. Attention to detail is deeply ingrained in service at Al's, and continues in every aspect and throughout the dining event. Observant and interested service around excellent steak and seafood elevates an Al's experience to the top.
Al Biernat's - 4217 Oak Lawn Ave. Dallas, TX 75219