Last summer, on the last Thursday of the month, Bistro 110 (110 E. Pearson in Chicago) started doing a wine tasting/food pairing from a specific region in France. It's a great deal at only $25 which includes tip.
I joined a terrific group of women last year who gathered there, generally around high-top tables on the patio, where we had fabulous food, lovely wines and good conversation. The food was plentiful and delicious with various tasting stations of appetizers, several entrees and dessert, and the pours were generous.
That was last year.
Last Thursday several of us went (from left to right: Claire, Nita, Joann, Trish, Andrea, me), expecting the same great event. But it's quite different this year. The wines were very nice and the pours still generous (thanks, Matt, from Cream Wine Company - pictured at right) but instead of tasting stations they brought out little plates with tastes of each dish. Still delicious food but kind of stingy, especially after last year, and we had to wait a long time before they brought anything out. It also seems like a pretty raw deal for the waitstaff (who were terrific) and for the dishwashers. Also the patio is closed to us this year since it's a big draw for regular diners.
All of this is understandable from a business point of view but why do it if you're not going to do it right? If it's not working for you just don't do it. Don't cheap out.
It's too bad - it was a nice event and we brought a lot of people each month. We probably won't be back. At least I won't.