The new Semolina in Red Bank


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You state that you “allow 90 minutes for tables up to 4”. @paryzer states that he and his wife were out within 45 minutes. How do explain this discrepancy?

To NotJr, please bear with me. Sometimes I am not as revolting as I am the rest of the time.

To Chuck: If we were ever to eat in New Jersey, we would probably try your restaurant on the basis of @paryzer’s praise. But we never get to New Jersey.


He wrote he received his entree course at the 45 minute mark in his post. Opentable says he left the restaurant at 5:19.

After waiting 10 or 15 minutes to clear the table and get our leftovers and check. I guess in your book the customer is always wrong, and the restaurant is always right. You seem to have an excuse for everything. Instead of relying on digital items, how about actually observing real behavior for a change?

I’m sorry. I was not going to reply any more. I thought we could just move on, but you continue to denigrate your customers and call them liars. Great way to run the hospitality business.

By the way, I had my delicious pork chop and chittara leftovers tonight, and was able to enjoy them even more without being rushed.


@paryzer that wasn’t intended to make or sound like anyone is right or wrong.

I read your review, you said you received your entrees in 45 minutes time, I answered a questioned and followed up with the time you left the restaurant? that would put you at 4:45. You left at 5:19 which it was 35 minutes after you received your pork chop and scallops? Im assuming the it took you about 20 - 25 minutes to eat dinner and if you sat another 10 - 15 that puts you at 35.

I mean am I missing something here? I answer someone’s question and I get a response that I’m never wrong?

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Doesn’t sound like a place that I will be visiting.
I go out to eat frequently and will never patronize a restaurant with “time limits “
Good Luck


I don’t think the time limit thing is at all strange. Here is a snippet from my upcoming reservation at Quintonil in Mexico City:
“TIME: The maximum stay time for reservation in the restaurant is 3 hours. We appreciate your understanding and support to free the table in the established time.”

Also, not to further pile on this situation but we have been to Semolina a few times and had no issues. They accommodated our request to move from a 2 top to a 4 top when we had our toddler without hesitation and the restaurant was busy at the time. We haven’t been back in months because she is way more active and there isn’t a place to have her walk around inside without fully being in the way. We did try to get in on Saturday but only open spots were at 5 PM or 9 something so we had to pass.


There is a quite a difference between a 90 minute time limit and a 3 hour time limit. I would not be at all bothered by a 3 hour time limit.

I don’t like when the mains appear the instant the app plates are cleared. (Or even worse before they are cleared)

If you want to enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine while you peruse the menu, order an app course and a
main course and then finish with coffee or dessert 90 minutes is too short, especially if you are out with friends. Dining out in a “nice” restaurant should not feel like you are running race against the clock. A set time limit that doesn’t differentiate between a table that orders multiple courses vs one that is just an entree and coffee makes no sense at all. The tables with apps, mains, and dessert are providing significantly more revenue and especially profit to the restaurant. Why do they have the same time limit as the marginally profitable table?

I understand the tough economics of restaurants and why they need to turn tables (especially a small restaurant without a liquor license). However, you need to have a business model that is a good and fair proposition for your customers to avoid being one of those places that is packed when it opens but doesn’t last long after the initial buzz dies away.


What a totally atrocious attitude for someone allegedly in the hospitality business.

“Take it as you will, but you’re very unprofessional review means nothing to me.” - I can only assume that you don’t need or want new clientele and that you’ll survive the off-season, when there’s no one around but us locals. This local will not be visiting you - ever.

And, as I was reading the defense of poor service and the widely varying opinions of service quality, one word popped into my head. It starts with “pro” and ends with “filing”. Again, just my opinion.


I can see the need to implement time limits in a smaller establishment with relatively high demand, especially one with no liquor license.

That said I would not want my mains to come out right after my apps either.

The other night we were 4 people, and had 3 apps, 3 half pastas 1 salad, and 4 mains. No dessert as we were stuffed. I am fairly certain we were in and out in 90 minutes and did not feel rushed in the least. Just my experience, in my one visit.


Agreed on not wanting courses to bump right in to each other. So if you had wanted coffee/dessert, do you think it would have felt rushed at that point?

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Actually, now that I think of it, the waiter sold us on the Budino and we added the zeppoles. So no, didn’t feel rushed in the least.


Bravo well put my feelings exactly :+1:


You said you have worked with Karen for 30 years and she is always great.

You also said you’ve read every post here, which includes responses from a few people who commented that Eli never writes a bad review.

So what happened? Clearly something went wrong between the two parties since Karen told you right off the bat that this party was going to be trouble.

Instead of making an attempt to reconcile you basically told your customer to fuck off. What are you hoping to accomplish here with your responses? If it’s to make your establishment look any better, you’re completely failing at it. Why do you think people are chiming in just to tell you they will never step foot in your restaurant?


What a bizarre thread! I’ve never seen someone work so hard at making sure they don’t get new customers. I’m not in the restaurant business but as a small business owner this is mind blowing to me.


I feel like I’m watching “Pride of the Sea 2: Red Bank’s Revenge”.


I am right there with you!
Perhaps with the criticism and comment above, it would seem prudent for Mr. Lesbriel to re-examine his original business model. It does sound as if the restaurant is doing reasonably well and not without it’s problems. (Although I am semi-retired, I do and have always questioned if our stated goals are working or they need to be tweaked or changed.)


Interesting…I just made a dinner res in NYC and this was at the bottom of their Open Table page…seems reasonable to me:

Important dining information
We have a 15 minute grace period. Please call us if you are running later than 15 minutes after your reservation time.
We may contact you about this reservation, so please ensure your email and phone number are up to date.
Your table will be reserved for 2 hours for parties of up to 4; 2 hours 30 minutes for parties of up to 6; and 3 hours for parties of 7+.


See this deep hole?

Looks like @semolinanj just kept digging with each response. Hospitality doesn’t seem to be his forté. Nor is taking constructive criticism from someone who eats out frequently and is known as a very fair and positive person and reviewer - one who PRAISED the food, the chef, AND left a much larger tip for the rude server than I ever would have. @paryzer, I kind of agree with your wife, but you’re obviously a very good egg. There are lots of other restaurants who will enjoy having you as a guest at their restaurants.


Thank you Linda :relaxed: I appreciate the kind words.