Dempsey Brasserie is competing in a relatively tough market. Not only is it part of the sea of Dempsey restaurants, it’s also another one of those casual restaurants serving simple but well-exectued dishes, along the likes of Spruce and Roadhouse, to name a few. I have no issues with the food at Dempsey Brasserie, and everything we ordered was generally up to snuff. Unsurprisingly, my favourite dish was dessert, where a simple lemon and lime sorbet was clearly made from the real thing (i.e., lemon and lime juice) and was a lovely palate cleanser at the end of the meal.
But oh, the service! Every communication with the servers involved minutes of waiting, frantic waving, etc. This is the only place I’ve ever been to where, upon asking the server for a refill of water, he refills just your glass and not the glasses of the other people at the table, which are equally empty, thus necessitating another round of waving, eye contact, etc. It’s not that there weren’t enough waiters around, just that they perpetually seemed to be zooming about the restaurant. On the night that we were there, there were maybe 5 tables in the indoor seating area so I was a little confused as to what they seemed so busy with. But as we left the restaurant, we discovered that the outdoor seating area was completely full. Ah.
So perhaps getting the servers attention is a matter of location rather than anything else. The other thing about the indoor seating area was that, with the cement flooring, it was pretty loud, even with only 5 tables. Perhaps it’s an unintentional consequence of the faux industrial design concept, but I can imagine that it’d be pretty hard to conduct a conversation when the restaurant is actually full.