Tag Archives: Amazing Service

Brio Tuscan Grill – The Staff Bowls Us Over

By Lakshmi:

Tonight, to celebrate a mini personal milestone, we decided to try a new “chain” restaurant that has opened in the Princeton area – Brio Tuscan Grille.  We knew nothing about the place, beyond the fact that a few friends had some lovely Sangria here.

After a short wait, we were shown to our tables.  The place was spacious, the decor a bit old world classic, filled with an eclectic combination of people enjoying a leisurely pre-Thanksgiving evening.

The menus at Brio are exhaustive and feature the usual list of pastas, salads, meats and desserts.  The waitress was quick to point out that we could edit most items on the menu to suit our vegetarian taste.  She said everything at Brio was very fresh, a term which is loosely used at many a chain with very few living up to that promise.

We commenced our meal with a Tomato Mozzarella Caprese  with the freshness of the mozzarella and tomatoes oozing through every biteful.  This was followed by a Field Green Salad (with my greens aversive daughter actually eating the leafy dish), a Pasta Alla Vodka (divine according to the younger one), a Pasta Pesto (the lightest pesto pasta we’ve had) and a Roasted Red Pepper Bruschetta (the smoked peppers playing in perfect harmony with the fresh mozzarella).

We had a little hiccup in our meal’s arrival – with a manager actually coming to apologize for the mix up and delay.  Our waitress followed up multiple times to check in to see if we needed anything else.

We had eaten more than we should have and yet when the waitress presented the dessert choices, we could not refuse a cheesecake/greek yogurt concoction and a chocolate cake oozing with molten chocolate and topped with vanilla ice cream and berries.  To us, the dessert felt like the final flourish to a lovely meal, but the best was apparently yet to come.

When we were presented with our check, I noticed a $50.00 credit.  The waitress proceeded to tell us that the Manager wanted to compensate us for the delay in our meal’s arrival.  As I walked over to thank the Manager, he apologized once more, handing me a coupon for a free entree along with his business card.

He thanked us for coming, requested us to come back and the waitress checked in again to make sure we had a lovely time as well.

We’re not a huge fan of chains, but when a chain does treat you like a special guest and wants your business, we want to return for more.

Thanks to Alex Cooper and his team, we will be back for more!

To learn more about Brio Tuscan Grill, please visit their website at


Movenpick Amsterdam – A Hotel That Won Us Over

By Lakshmi:

A few years ago, we had made plans to spend Christmas in Amsterdam.  It is one of our favorite cities and we were very much looking forward to staying at Dam Square and found a great deal at the Swissotel.  But alas, an illness with a family member forced us to change plans and move our trip to peak Spring season and the best value we could get was away from Dam Square at a property on the water known as the Movenpick Hotel Amsterdam.

We had heard good things about the brand, but had never stayed there.  We were still saddened about not being in the heart of the city at Dam Square.  But we relented and decided to go for this property.

From our very first interaction over the phone to the support provided after we returned home, this hotel made our stay amazing and won us over.  Here’s how they did it.

– The hotel offers a shuttle pick up from Central Station.  We called from the station and due to construction were given explicit instructions on the right exit to take to the spot on the street where we would be picked up.  First handshake – success!

– The property is modern, designed beautifully and occupies prime real estate on the water adjacent to the beautiful Muziekgebouw concert hall.  We loved the aesthetics.

– The front desk staff could not have been any friendlier.  Given the girls excitement, they gave us a room facing the water that simply made each morning and evening that much more special.  And they always had pointers for us on things to do.

– Our concern about not being on Dam Square was more than addressed by these facts.  It is a short 15 minute walk or a few minute tram ride to the Square and most importantly being on the water helped us escape the bustle of the city whenever we wanted to.

– The breakfast was awesome.

– At the basement of the hotel is a bike rental place that we used to rent bikes and do a tour of the dutch countryside.  Great convenience.

– Now for the ultimate in service.  Upon getting to the airport, we realized that we had forgotten a key purchase at a locker in one of the city’s museums.  We called the museum, asked if they could ship it which they declined.  We called the hotel concierge and they immediately set the wheels in motion to help us.  Not only did they pick up our purchase, they mailed it to us without charging us a dime.  This despite our multiple offers to pay.

Amsterdam is absolutely one of our favorite cities in the world and we are glad to have found a gem to return to on future journeys.

To learn more about this beautiful property click here: