"It’s easier to keep a customer than get a new one.”
-Allan Keller

1809 Capitol Ave., Sacramento, CA 95811, (916) 444-2566

[I don't like to write negative reviews and I actually waited a week and a half before I wrote this, giving myself time to cool down before I started tapping keys. So you can only imagine how I felt right after the experience....]

With restaurants closing left and right in Sacramento, I would think those whose doors are open for business would be striving to retain their current customer base and looking to welcome new guests...but apparently not so at The Press Bistro (not to be confused with the Press Club, a dive bar on P Street). Case in point---a friend of mine and I decided to get together recently for a much needed girls' night out...we wanted somewhere nice where we could grab a few appetizers and chat quietly over a few cocktails. Neither of us had been to The Press so we thought we'd check it out. Right off the bat, things didn't fare well at The Press. We walked up to the hostess stand where we stood uneasily. After a few minutes, the hostess finally greeted us with her eyes still down, writing in her book. In fact she never once looked at us or smiled. She did walk us to a table though. I wish at this point, we had turned around and had just left because the service didn't get any better...or any friendlier. Our waitress appeared almost perturbed with us from the get go (and I'm a pretty lax person to wait on)...for some reason it seemed like it was a giant inconvenience for her to wait on our table. There were a few major things especially that she did that really rubbed me the wrong way---1) once the expediters dropped off the food, she never checked back on us to see how it was or whether we wanted another drink, 2) she reached her arm right in front of my face to clear plates, 3) and she actually walked away while we were in the midst of explaining to her how we wanted the bill settled. It was such an uncomfortable experience, we couldn't wait to leave.

Horrendous service aside, the food there was actually okay. We got three appetizers- the roasted beets with goat cheese, the fried meatballs with garlic-yogurt sauce and the grilled calamari with cherry tomato panzanella. We both really enjoyed the meatballs and the calamari (which was truly served grilled and not breaded and fried like most places). The sangria we ordered was less of a was quite bitter and mine had no fruit in it, which I found odd. Had the establishment's environment been more hospitable we would have probably ordered a few other cocktails (they had a pretty interesting looking drink menu) and maybe a few other dishes but being unpleasant as it was we decided to leave instead and take ourselves down to the Shady Lady where we had a couple of rounds of drinks (try their mojito or their Blood & Sand---Mmmm! Both are delicious!) and some dessert.

Based on my recent evening at The Press, it seems that they obviously don't want or need new customers. Or at least they're allowing their wait staff to convey the message that they don't. Although the bistro is quite close to my home, I don't think it'll be a place that I'll be returning to patronize again or suggesting it to others. I prefer to give my dollars to a place that exudes a welcoming vibe.
3 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    My husband and I had a terrible guest service experience as well. The chef/owner actually told my husband that he could not sit next to me at the community table-we HAD to sit across from one another. What? There were more than 6 empty seats at the community table. We were then moved to a table so we could sit next to each other,jeez anyone ever heard of date night? However, things never got better and we left our food, our drinks, and our unpaid bill on the table and stormed out. That place is crazy!

  2. Ally Says:


    I literally felt our waitress glaring at us from across the room several was the oddest thing as we been nothing but pleasant to her. And it appeared none of the restaurant staff had ever been introduced to the concept of smiling, they were like little robots- no eye contact, no conversation, no expression....

    As someone who's worked in the restaurant business, I always leave 20% minimum (usually much more) for a tip, we left 15% but honestly I wanted to leave was THAT bad.

  3. C Lo Says:

    That was my experience as well. I went to the bar first because I was early and the bartenders were SO NICE. But it was like once I was seated, it was an entirely different staff. When I was there, some waiters stood over to the said talking trash about other customers. TACKY.

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