I went last night to a nice steakhouse, for some really excellent food, but piss poor service, and I ended up stiffing the waitress. My wife and son have come out to Chicago to visit me and find an apartment (which we did) and my wife really wanted a steak. so we went to a place I have been to with people from work, which honestly has the best beef I have had in the states. I have enjoyed the experience on the previous occasions I have been there. when we got there, the three of us, we were shunned off to the very fartherst corner, next to the kitchen. This was acceptable to me, even though my son is very well behaved in resteraunts, I can understand why a steak house will not want a 4 year old in a visable part of the resteraunt. then I started to get pissed off. we waited for maybe 15 minutes without seeing a server, while the 3 nearest tables to us, 2 of which arrived after us, had servers come to them. At that point, for the sake of proactivly trying to get things moving, I went to the hostess and said, in a very pleasant and friendly manner, that if the server didn't show up quickly, there was an excellent chance they would be stiffed, because it would be difficult to get the annoyance out of me. a few minutes later, a sort of bored and annoyed waitress shows up at our table. not to really un-PC - but this is a place where all the waiters are middle aged men, to be specific, middle aged white men. and our waitress is a dumpy woman in her 20's. honestly, my first impression was that we had been given the low person on the server totem pole. to add to that, she was really sullen and not very pleasant. now, while I happen to agree with KP about the whole specials thing, and I have a pretty good idea of what pieces of meat look like, my wife has never been to a chicago steak house. I knew that she would enjoy the whole thing with the meat tray, and the speil and all of that, which this server totally bypassed. she basically came out and said "are you ready to order?" all around us, the servers are showing peices of meat and live lobsters, standing up straight, smiling, and acting very proffetional and energetic, and ours looks like a grounded teenager. so, again, in the name of trying to salvage things, I went to talk to the manager, and I said - "look, give me a bit of guidance here, I am spending maybe $150 on a meal, and I don't want to be pissed off through the whole meal. would you prefer not to have families here? is this type of thing going to go on all night? would it be better to cut my losses and go someplace else or trust that the service will get better?" so he was really appologetic, and promised that he would make sure that the service got better and more attentive. anyway, the food was great, the service never got better. I left a $2 tip on a $120 bill. no regrets.