Featured Restaurant on Rick's DineSite Journal


Old Hickory Smokehouse


Gaylord Palms Resort
Orlando, Florida





Journal entries: Date, Atmosphere, Food, Winelist, Service, Other
Jan 10, 2004 -

Their promotion was right about one thing - they did "make this an unforgettable dining experience".  Read on....

Atmosphere - Located within the massive atrium of the Gaylord Palms Resort, the atmosphere seeks to recreate a 'whimsical Everglades setting' experience with the restaurant located on a wooden deck above the water setting complete with faux alligators. At the white linen covered tables, the plates are covered with a hatbox sized screen presumably to serve as netting from the imaginary (?) mosquitoes or worse. This should be a clue of what follows. 1.5/5

Food - The steaks were smothered in whole roasted garlic without warning which might have allowed a diner to beg off the offensive accompaniment. 1.5/5

Wine - The winelist tempts a respectable selection offering something for everyone, if only they could deliver on what they promise. Three of the six Bordeaux selections were not available or never presented. 3/5

Service was deplorable, so much so as to become almost infuriating and insulting. Trying to select a medley of wines for our large group (two tables - 18 people), when they couldn't produce three of our selections, they tried to upsell us to the most expensive bottle on the list (Chateau Haut Brion 1990 at $1150). This might have been okay were if not for the fact were trying to select wines under $100. This experience deteriorated further when upon selecting BV Tapestry Reserve at $89, we found them pouring BV Rutherford Cab, a $15 substitute. When asked if they offered any wines not on the winelist, they tempted us with a couple offerings which they never presented, bringing forth instead some high priced alternatives listed on the winelist. It got worse when we selected a 1993 Cos d'Esournel (our 4th attempt at a Bordeaux - at a negotiated price since this exceed our budget,) - they tried to convince us this was an extraordinary vintage, on par with the 1990 and 2000's (which were our first three selections that they were featuring but couldn't deliver.... (except for $1150!)). When finally presented, they bypassed our host and his empty glass and proceeded to top off the half full glass of our beer drinking associate, leaving the remaining 2/3 bottle to be shared by the rest of the table. Trying to pace the evening to pair the wines with the courses was impossible since, despite having reservations, it took over three hours to produce our entrees. They were too busy hawking high priced cheese cart selections to effectively present  or serve the selections to all the diners present. Once they got the order they were invisible. And we had to ask repeatedly for a chance at desert.   Service 0/5

The prices were high, even for the location. If you're charging these prices, and trying to pass yourself off as a serious restaurant, you need to approach a reasonable level of competence and protocol, even for a resort environment.

Overall - 6/20

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