New Fish in Short Pump

Coming this month to Innsbrook, a new seafood restaurant will feature the work of Chef John Maxwell and the fish of longtime purveyor George Purcell.

Carytown Seafood at Innsbrook Restaurant & Market takes over where Circus Mediterranean Grill shut down several months ago and will serve paella, grouper, crab cakes, shrimp and grits, and more in the large dining room and patio at 4040-B Cox Road.

"We're selling a wide variety of fish at middle market, where everyman can come and eat," Maxwell says. "No truffles, no exotics. Just good, straight-ahead seafood and beef. Our mantra is quality products, generous portions and reasonable prices."

Entrées will run less than $20 for most items, with whole lobsters and some platters costing more.

The restaurant will serve lunch weekdays and dinner nightly, with an anticipated opening date of June 19. 965-5514.

Wait Mail

This from Melissa, a Fan server:

"I am writing in response to the letter of April 26 in which the writer complained of the bad service they allegedly received and the unprofessional behavior they supposedly observed during the course of an evening out. I am specifically writing in defense of the Fan wait staff and to provide readers with an insider's glimpse into service.

"I wait tables in a busy Fan establishment on Friday nights. I am one out of a handful of Melissas who work weekend nights in the Fan. I, and I can assume we, can look forward to a night full of verbal abuse, suggestive comments and improper touching/grabbing as part of trying to earn a living. Despite all that, I neither condone nor support poor service.

"I do not offer this as an excuse, rather as a means of showing extenuation. The next time you are out, look around. Pay particular attention to those customers who are rude, abusive, grabby. Now offer a silent 'thank you' that you do not have to deal with them as a condition of your employment.

"It is inevitable that in the rush of a packed Friday night out, somebody will receive service that is less than what they might expect. It is an unfortunate reality of the bar and restaurant business, and there is no way to avoid it. As a service professional, I recognize these moments and do my absolute best to minimize the inconvenience to my customers. I'm not always able to do so.

"What the original writer perceived as rudeness could well have been a server at total task saturation. Sorry. But it happens.

"Following the distribution of that letter, I have been forced to answer threats to my job, merely because I share the name of the alleged offender. I can only hope that the original writer was sober enough to correctly observe the situation as she claims it happened; otherwise, the reputations of innocent people may have been irreparably harmed."

That caps off a month's worth of response to our recent columns about tipping and waiting tables in Richmond bars and restaurants. Thanks to all who serve.

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