Disappointing – Keystone Bar & Grill Hyde Park
It is indeed very, very rare that I am soooooooooo disappointed by a restaurant that I struggle to find something good to say about the location, food or people. Thus was my experience at Keystone Bar & Grill Hyde Park.
I have spent many an evening enjoying the Keystone Bar & Grill in Convington, KY, rating it amongst my listing of favorite area restaurants. I love macaroni and cheese and they have created an entire menu surrounding variations of just this dish. I live about equidistant from either of these locations (and also a third, newly opened Keystone in Clifton) so it only seemed fair to drive east instead of south for a change. I expected to love this place much as I do the Covington location, but alas, it simply was not possible.
I arrived at Keystone with a friend who has some mobility limits, so was please to note the parking space we secured was very close to the disabled ramp access. This seemed a great start that ended immediately when we got to the end of the ramp and discovered that the door to actually get in was locked. Well, it was such a beautiful, late summer evening and we preferred to sit outside in the lovely courtyard area anyway, so we navigated our way down the ‘stairs’ into the outside patio. She waited while I went up the stairs to the inside to list our names with the hostess. Unfortunately the hostess was not at the podium, nor anywhere in site, so I wandered around for a bit, looking for someone to ask about seating. I glanced out the window and noticed my friend now climbing UP the stairs! She stated she had located the hostess and there would be a 10-15 minute wait for a table outside, so we took a seat at the bar and ordered a beverage.
The hostess came up to us and offered to seat us sooner upstairs on the balcony, which we declined due to the amount of stairs needed to get there. A 10-15 minute wait was not unbearable, so we waited. The hostess returned about 10 minutes later and told us that there was now a couple with a dog that had been placed in front of us because they could not seat them upstairs with an animal. She encouraged us to take the immediate seating on the balcony, so since we would only need to climb up once and down once (barring any need for a bathroom), we accepted the challenge to navigate up. Upon arrival, we were extremely disappointed to discover the seating in that area was limited to high bar stools… a distinct challenge for two very short women. Not only was it a challenge to climb up into the seats, when your feet don’t quite reach the chair rung, a very uncomfortable way to sit, balanced with legs dangling, while trying to enjoy our dining. We explained this to the hostess and opted to return downstairs to wait yet another 10-15 minutes.
Finally, we were seated outside, in much less than the stated extended wait time, but it was quickly obvious why. There was a stench of something dead and rotting that wafted around as we approached the table. Luckily there was a slight breeze that kept moving the smell away, so we sat. I later discovered that this particular table was setup in line with the garbage dumpster in the back and imagine this scent happens frequently on warm summer evenings.
We placed our orders and waited and waited and waited. It took an inordinate amount of time for our orders of Mac & Cheese and Mexican Corn Salad to arrive, but when they did, we swooped in with gusto. As for the something good: The Mexican Corn Salad was delicious and I was delighted! My order of Cordon Lightfoot (grilled chicken + house-roasted ham + Swiss) looked so pretty, lightly browned, delicious. Having had the same dish at the other location, I knew it was very good. I had been eating it for a few minutes when I noticed that I had not found one piece of chicken yet. Unusual, to be sure, so I began a search for those elusive chunks of chicken I was expecting, but absolutely NONE were to be found. The dish was definitely edible without the chicken, but I was disappointed not to have any at all.
During the meal, our beverages were replenished, but each time delivered without the accompanying lemon or lime slice requested, necessitating another request of the server and another wait for a slice. Luckily there were very few diners left at that hour, so the service was becoming more and more expedient.
When we went to leave, we were dismayed to find (after climbing the stairs to get back to the disabled access ramp!) that most of the lights along the stairs/ramp were not working. It was full dark by this time and we felt our way along. The one light that was working was blocked by a couple of staff people on a break, making it a treacherous journey indeed.
This location has been opened long enough for these types of operational issues to have been worked out. The disabled access issues are uncalled for in this day and age and the mis-steps with the food preparation were telling. By now, the staff should be well acquainted with the menu and leaving out items listed should not happen. I shall NOT be returning here on my birthday ever again, nay, I do not wish to return here on any day.