Thursday, February 18, 2010

The End of the Raindancer. 12-16-75 to 2-17-10 RIP

 ****UPDATE:  Raindancer is BACK!!  Hubby and I had dinner with another couple on our last visit to Florida and I am delighted to be able to tell you that they have corrected the problems that marred our last two visits and the packed dining room showed that they are having success again. I was heartbroken by the thought that my favorite steak place for more than three decades was going the route of so many and I am thrilled that once again the Raindancer sets the bar for steak restaurants in the USA and around the globe!

***UPDATE: After reading my review, the Raindancer (unasked) proactively removed the charge for the dinner from my husband's credit card, called me and apologized.  I will have to go back and see if they have gotten back up to par when I visit Florida again.  This was a very classy thing for them to do and they've always been a class act.  Stay tuned for the next review--they WANT to be the best!
It's been a wonderful ride dining at the Raindancer in West Palm Beach.  Everything was perfect every time I dined there--from the service to the food to the atmosphere from my first visit in 1975 when I was celebrating my 17th birthday but sadly I've now made my last trip to the restaurant that was my favorite steak house for an astounding 35 years.  When I first visited I was a 17 year old kid in college, on my last I was a 51 year old Republican Congressional Nominee.  I was hoping to celebrate being elected to Congress at the Raindancer, just as I've celebrated about 90% of the memorable occasions in my life at the venerable establishment.  What changed?  The steak that no other restaurant could match for quality or preparation was sadly lacking.  Not only was it way overcooked, but the burnt Pittsburgh crust that I so love was absent.  The service was way under par too.  There was no butter on the table for the bread and my iced tea refill was served  with a lemon instead of the requested lime and I had to ask twice for refills on drinks.  This is something that has never happened in 200 visits--I've never had a steak that wasn't perfect or service that wasn't flawless.  The potato had the unmistakable flavor change of a refrigerated spud which tells me they are keeping potatoes longer than they used to.  The steak was full of gristle which has never happened before--and shouldn't have happened this time as it was $38.95 for a 12 ounce NY strip.  I am devastated that it has fallen so far so fast but the half-empty dining room told the story of how far the quality of food and service has dropped.  I was used to waiting an hour for a table during the winter season but no more. The service standards are lax as well--a sad thing because the service could always be counted upon to be flawless.  I've always been able to count on the Raindancer to provide the perfect backdrop of food and service to impress anyone I was ever closing any kind of business deal with--the ambiance, food, service and class of the place sold everything and everyone.  No more.
There's no pot of gold at the end of the Raindancer--just a very disappointed 35 year customer that loved everything it used to be.  Rest in Peace and thanks for the memories!

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