I am all about great restaurant experiences and I love dining out in new places when I travel. Recently, I was on the coast of Maine and had a chance to visit a new steakhouse I had heard about.

I met a friend for drinks and we first took a seat at the bar. The space was comfortable and the shelves were well-stocked with every spirit you might want. As we settled in, the two male bartenders were super friendly and professional. They engaged us in conversation and it was clear that this was both their craft and vocation—not a passing job just to earn a few bucks. Both were extremely knowledgeable about their beers, wines and spirits, ready with a suggestion or to answer any question…the kind of staff who make you feel like you’re old friends. Instead of promoting their pricy cocktails, both bartenders were quick to point out the happy hour specials, which were quite extensive and much appreciated.

We ordered drinks and they were expertly prepared, poured into appealing glassware and properly garnished. After enjoying our first drink and their gracious service, we decided to stay for dinner and move to the dining room to join two additional friends.

That’s where the experience dramatically shifted and fell short.

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