Two pieces of housekeeping:
1) Congratulations to entry #34 – Megan Kilway! You won two tickets to CIFF’s Get Shorty Film Feast. Please reply to my email by January 26 at noon ET to confirm you can still attend.
Don’t have your tickets yet to Get Shorty on January 29? Tickets can be purchased here. You’ll have a great evening out, while helping to raise money for CIFF 39.
2) A note about today’s blog post: At various points in both of our careers, Scott and I worked in some form of customer relations. Because of this, we love seeing examples of businesses that go out of their way to provide stellar service, especially in response to a misstep. No one’s perfect; it’s how a business handles a mistake that truly demonstrates the value they place on their customer relationships.
I say all of this because of a recent experience Scott had at Pier W. He asked me if he could share it on the blog. Take it away, Scott.
There was a saying I often heard as a child:
“It’s not your mistakes that define you, but how you deal with those mistakes.”
Most of the time I find sayings like that trite and indefinable in real life, so when I come across an actual example of it I take note.
Amanda and I have been big fans of Pier W for some time. I’d long been interested in going thanks to the billboard that towers over the Shoreway (especially when the modern ad fell off and the awesome old Pier W ad was visible for a few days).
It’s one of the few places around Cleveland where this Jersey boy can get really good seafood. I was hooked after my first sip of lobster bisque at a happy hour.
Add to their food the lakeside location, view of Cleveland’s stunning skyline, an incredible layout (love the glass elevator that goes past a fish tank!), and live pianist tickling ivories with superhero movie theme songs, and you have one of the coolest places in Cleveland.
It should come as no surprise that when it came time to plan Amanda’s birthday dinner, Pier W was at the top of my list.
Unfortunately, a customer service glitch kept our group from having dinner there that evening. Amanda’s birthday still turned out fine, but like all plans gone awry one does feel somewhat hardened to what threw things off. I loved Pier W, and I didn’t want to have a smudge on my opinion of it. But that was the fact of the matter.
Thankfully, that issue will not be what defines Pier W for me. I reached out to the restaurant, and after I explained to General Manager Mark Kawada what happened, he was determined to make sure what went wrong was put right.
Shortly after the start of 2015, Amanda, I, and a small group of friends were able to have that birthday dinner at Pier W.
It was an incredible time, and this was thanks to the wonderful customer service of Mr. Kawada and the staff at Pier W. He was determined that one bad experience would not define my view of the restaurant.
His above-and-beyond work paid off. I could not have a higher opinion of Pier W than I do right now. It was a mistake well fixed. (The free glass of champagne that Pier W is giving all of their guests for their 50th anniversary didn’t hurt.)
As grateful as I am to Mr. Kawada, let’s not forget the true star of our dinner at Pier W: Succulent raw oysters, the Iced Seafood Tower, the salty juices of Alaskan Crab Legs, and of course the lobster bisque.
I know Amanda thoroughly enjoyed the Maine lobster pappardelle she ordered. It’s the addition of ingredients like red peppers and French green beans in the pappardelle’s rich cognac sauce that sets Pier W’s dishes above others.
We were all delightfully stuffed, but that didn’t keep us from some delightful dessert. Chocolate mousse cake for myself and refreshing housemade sorbets for Amanda..
I’m thankful Mr. Kawada was able to put Pier W back in my positive thoughts, because the idea of going through life without any of that again makes me very sad.
So that is my delicious illustration of a trite – but important – saying. Pier W has redefined itself to me as not only a fantastic Cleveland dinner spot, but a true believer in excellent customer service.
I can’t wait to go back and recommend the restaurant to anyone looking for a special night of exquisite food and service that matches. If you go during the first 100 days of this year, you’ll also get a free glass of champagne (and flute to take home) in honor of Pier W’s 50th anniversary.
Because I love any chance to pen a limerick, here’s one dedicated to Pier W:
There once was a man who liked seafood,
And desired some that was real good.
So he tried very hard not to drool,
As he looked at the menu of Pier W,
And when there he’s always in a fantastic mood!