Station 4 is one of the first restaurants in the soon-to-be revitalized neighborhood of Southwest in Washington, D.C.. There aren’t a lot of nice restaurant in SW, so, it really had/has the opportunity to stand out – and it does. Just not the way it should…

Atmosphere: The look is very luxe. The decor is velvet chairs and crystal chandeliers with dark walls housing red and gold accents. Very glamourous. It’s got a bar, a dining room and an outdoor eating area. All good. For first impressions, they get an A.

Food: Once we got the food, it was outstanding. Shrimp scampi over linguine in a butter sauce. I stopped just short of licking the plate. The salad was more of an art piece than food, but, it works perfected for the woman on a regimented diet plan. The fries were particularly good as they were seasoned with garlic and parsley.

Service: They get an F. The waiter kept my party waiting while he greeted a table of businessmen who were seated about 5 full minute after us. His general demeanor was very removed in a cloned, robotic kind of way. Smile plastered on his face, recitation of details, etc. We asked if we could make a change to something on the menu. He emphatically stated there could be no changes to the menu, the chef simply wouldn’t do it.

The general manager came to our table, but, did not introduce himself. No idea what his name is. He tried to convince us that EVERYONE likes a light lunch when we were asking for a hearty lunch. This was clearly a cover so that they didn’t have to step outside of their planned, pre-prepped lunch that EVERYONE is supposed to love. They eventually accommodated our requests, but, never checked back to make sure we were happy. I’ve had better follow-up at McDonald’s…

Improvements: My first suggestion is to be flexible. If a patron says they want a $30 steak for lunch instead of your $15 featured item – give them the steak. You make more money and since the food is so good, you get a return patron, a good review and excellent word of mouth. This is critical when you’re starting out.

Second, always have a menu that will appeal to every taste. This is the first time I’ve been to a restaurant that only served starters, salads, pizza and sandwiches for lunch and no entrees. It’s particularly surprising because, I usually let the other party pick where we eat because, I eat steak and chicken and – THERE’S ALWAYS A STEAK ON THE MENU!

And third, the service should be better than the food. Nothing else to say.