May 2008

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The Hollywood Nun

After reading an article about how independent stores are staying afloat after years of WallMart-ing, may I suggest ensuring that your customer service is amazing? And not just the friendliness, because incredibly you do find that at chains, but staff who are "experts" about the food you serve? Maybe some cross training in the kitchen to gain knowledge and appreciation for the process?
Also, I would like to say that before I gave up food chains (and meat)I gave up one in particular over this one rediculous incident: I ordered a Veggie Patch Pizza and it was supposed to have artichokes, my favorite, but it didn't. When I told the waiter he brought out the manager who told me "they come pre-packaged from the warehouse where they make them so I don't actually have artichokes to put on it." What? In fact, I think this may have been why I gave up chains.


Hi Scott

An idea for an event:

blind dating evening!

how it works: men book a budget in advance, then women choose their menu.

Since men's wealth is the best indicator of their wife's beauty, this could work well?

Bruce Harrison

Scott - the restaurant really looks good, and your wine list is good, but not great (regardless of what an early poster said, offbeat wines don't sell -- you should have some on the menu just for those wine snobs who consider it an offense against nature to order a Chardonnay; just make it really expensive for them). I could give you some recommendations on improving the list, but you'd owe me even more dinners than you do now.

One thing you mentioned were your special events. One was the half-price wine night on Mondays, and your Happy Hour. I know you have a tab labeled "Events" which lists them, but I'd also some direct reference to them, with a link to the "Events" page, on the home page.

Another area where you might be able to entice people in on the "off days" is to hold winemaker's dinners. The chains can't do that, and it might really appeal to people around the Dublin area. It might bring in some people who otherwise wouldn't eat out mid-week.

Hey, one more thing -- this might be heresy, but we have a great restaurant near us called "The Dead Fish" (really!) -- if you're ever going to be in the vicinity of the Carquinez Bridge, e-mail me and we'll meet you there for dinner -- one of the things they've done that is really gutsy is to knock off the corkage fee. You can bring any wine you want, use their glasses, and not pay a penny for corkage. Wow! As you can well imagine, it is my first choice for eating out in the area.

I'm sure they realize that few people are going to bring their own wine to a restaurant, and the few that do (like me) will really want to eat there a lot -- I doubt if you could talk Stacey into this one as an overall idea, but how about this -- a "bring your own wine night" once a week? Pick a slow night and say something like, "No corkage fee on Wednesdays!" I guarantee you the chains can't do that. You should think about using their inflexibility to your advantage -- think of the things they can't do that would appeal to people, and do those.

Another dinner you owe me! I hope you're keeping this on the books.


Or perhaps instead of being like every other "up scale" restaurant in CA, you can serve finely crafted beers such as the Ommegang Three Philosophers, Unibroue Blanche de Chambly or the Trappists Rochefort 6, 8 or 10. These beers pair better with fine food than do their wine counterparts and the craft beer industry is growing nearly exponentially.

With the number of "beer snobs" growing around the country as well as the increased use of beer in cooking you will corner the market in your region.

Use this as a starter:


If I were you, I'd work on the Wine list. Waaaay too much Chardonnay that tastes the same anyway. Same goes for the Pinot Noir. Just because these two are the most famous grapes in Burgundy doesn't mean they give an easy wine everywhere else. Try a Chablis and taste what can be done with Chardonnay. Try a Vosne-Romanée and taste what Pinot can be good at. The Napas you have are great though. So is the Italian stuff. Try to add in some Rioja with 100% Tempranillos (a women's wine...) and some Chianti (mostly Sangiovese) or Barbaresco (Nebbiolo) and Amarone (again a women's wine. You should pamper them. They're the ones to pay...). Moving to France you could add a Bordeaux (there are good cheap ones in my cellar). And Maybe some Malbec from Argentina's Mendoza Valley. That way, the whole list becomes more colorful. Oh: And drop the Veuve Clicqot and replace it by - say - Gosset. V-C is overrated ;-). Next Time I'm in CA, I'll visit Stacey's. Can't say when though.


where can i buy a dilbert squeeze doll?


A 20% forced "tip" for a party of 6 or more? Kinda creepy. So, when he waiter is rude and the food is late and cold, I'm still obligated to reward that service? Seriously?

[No. You'd just talk to the manager and any issues would be resolved to your satisfaction. That's in the restaurant's best interest and yours. -- Scott]


Scott, I wish you the best on your "promotion"!

It... won't affect the quality of Dilbert, will it?


The restaraunt is much nicer looking the I expected. Frankly, handing management of such a classy establishment over to you seems to be a major mistake. I was thinking you could handle something more along the lines of an Applebees.


Here's an idea.

1. Stop debating the existence of God.
2. Go to church every Sunday. And then some.
3. ???
4. Profit! (weddings, after church meals, etc)

Even sheep need to eat. :)


Good job, Good night



wine in america must be too expensive. i checked out your menu. they look nice - though i still don't really get "californian cuisine" - but the wine prices are crazy. and $15 for corkage! yikes. your food and wine prices don't reconcile to me. i assume this must reflect wine prices in your country. pity...


New menu for cheaper kids? Haha!

Rabid Koala

Chain restaurant? Not if I can help it!

Give me a good independent anytime. Sad that there are too few of those down here in San Diego.

I have relatives in Danville. If I get up there I promise to try the place, and hope I can find something cheese-free on the menu!


dang ... i missed the request for suggestions ...

there goes Footwear Night (where everyone wears footwear) ... and Decency Night (where everyone behaves in a decent and respectable manner)


Don't have their own blogs THAT YOU KNOW OF.


This looks like a wonderful place. The menu is very interesting. I see a lot of things I'd like to try.

But too upscale for me. I mean, $2.75 for a Coke?

Maybe I misunderstood what kind of coke. It is California after all.

Kevin Kunreuther

Hey Scott, will Stacey's ship FedEx? I'd like to sample the fare on menu before I recommend anybody else, but I'm here in Texas and I'm not planning anytime time soon to visit the area.


Since I'm behind on reading the blog, I read this today right before reading today's Dilbert. Seems that you have a head start on planning for the "Blame Keith" phase of the management!


I checked out the site and didn't notice any notices regarding food allergies...

Check out

As a person with celiac disease - I have a tough time going to restaurants wondering if I'm going to be sick later. What restaurant owners don't understand is that it is only a few minor changes for many dishes to be available "gluten free".

Gluten (an amino acid) is found in wheat, rye & barley - and anything derived from them.

Manhattan restaurants are picking up on this and I really like it when business takes me to NYC as I know I can eat.

Greater than 1% of the moist robots are affected with this, and we often affect where the other moist robots go for meals as a result.

Benefit to the you? The large chains are about mass production and do not accommodate celiac afflicted persons very well (there are a few exceptions such as PF Changs).

Give it a thought. Examine it, advertise it and list yourself on and you should see an increase in business.

We blog!!! ;-)

Rob List

I know nothing about the catering business - but arn't the margins very low?

What's the profit margin on 20 guests dining with you (less the cost of 2 sets of squishie toys and 2 books), versus the profit margin on selling two autographed sets of squishie toys and two books?


Nice way to advertise your restaurant. I bet the website hits this week for restaurant went something like this:
Monday = 0
Tuesday = 0
Wednesday = 0
Thursday = 0
Friday = 20,000

It gets tedious to read so many comments and then comment something which has not been posted before, so, I didn't bother this time (you are anyways going to read every comment).


The website looks better than the old one, good luck scott


Try the Argentine solution. Good abundant food at low prices.



wow, nice


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