I visited Vince Young Steakhouse in downtown Austin on a night it was busy and understaffed, and service was poor throughout. There was no one to check on my table, refill water, or replace a utensil. A nearby table of suited businessmen drinking multiple bottles of not cheap wine repeatedly raised their hands to get the attention of a staff member. It was one of the worst fine dining service experiences I have endured, putting a real damper on a solid meal.
The primary reason Vince Young's name is on a steakhouse is for making a comeback. Like Vince's National Championship-winning run on fourth down with time running out, my server made a similar heroic play. As I squinted at the check, calculating what his penalty would be for the overall lack of service, he approached. He apologized for the poor service, admitted he had no explanation for why he had no help on the floor, and assured me it was not normal. He asked me to return another time, and that if I asked for him he would make certain I enjoyed a proper experience.
I immediately felt better about the entire ordeal. And, I swung from categorizing the restaurant as "off the list" to giving it another chance when I returned to the area. The simplest closing remarks can make or break a dining experience, so they must be well chosen and timely. In this case, they were a game-saver.