Obviously Gary Danko is a great restaurant. Obviously the one-star rating I've assigned is an anomaly. It represents our rather unpleasant 40 minutes in the place; your experience would most likely be as rapturous as those described in the great majority of reviews here, but I am writing to issue a caveat for the unwary.
We had a 9:00 reservation on a nondescript Monday night. We would have preferred something earlier, but 9:00 was the best we could do with the lead time we had. We arrived about 8:45 and were advised, not unexpectedly, that our table was not ready. We were led to the bar, which at that time had no available stools. We stood among a small herd of our fellow heel-coolers until two stools opened up at about 8:55. We sat and ordered a drink. By 9:10 the bar area was backed up to the door with others waiting for their reservations to be honored. By 9:15, I was ready to leave. We had been elbowed, jostled, batted hither and yon by the madding crowd. The volume of the attendant hubbub was just this side of deafening. By 9:20, I had paid for the drinks and announced our intention to leave. The hostess, aghast, asked me if I'd speak to the manager, which I did. She was unpersuasive; we left at about 9:25 amid pleas that "several tables were paying."
I'd believe our experience was unusual except that we were not the only ones subject to the uncomfortable wait. I was left with the distinct impression from this one-time sampling that the restaurant routinely overbooks, depending on its apparently well-deserved culinary reputation to elicit Job-like patience from its eager clientele.
If the experience you expect from an establishment affiliated with Relais et Châteaux includes red carpet treatment from the moment you walk in the door, I'd suggest that you avoid Gary Danko, or at the very least, make it a high priority to score an early evening reservation.
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