Let the menu be the menu

I've made a couple visits to Bonfyre American Grille since my review was printed in January of last year. It continues to be a reliable, generally enjoyable spot in an area of town with few other options.

That's why it has been really disappointing to see Bonfyre taking steps to be even less risky than it already was(n't).

One of the first signs of this was the sea change in the dessert menu, which went from fun, appropriately priced and portioned fare, to plain, unoriginal, and even cheaper shooter-sized trifles. All the character was sapped from that page of the menu in the interest of making sure every single menu item could be ordered simply and without surprise by every single patron.

I met my wife for lunch at Bonfyre yesterday, and experienced a powerful mutation of the usual doting, semi-pressing service that has marked most other stops there. This fellow, who has served us before, explained in detail every single dish--whether we inquired about it or not. When we ordered, he reiterated the manner in which the dishes were served, and asked if those characteristics would be acceptable to us.

This nervous energy isn't going to serve Bonfyre very well if it keeps up too much longer. (At the very least, it's going to hurt that guy's tips; lunch probably ran a good three to five minutes longer solely on account of his over-attention to explication.) The menu is big, it's diverse, and it's pretty clearly written. When the staff lingers over mundane details like this, it's going to feel to more and more diners like they doth reassure too much.

I still like Bonfyre; my food was good yesterday, as it has been every single time I've visited. But if the staff doesn't let the menu do the job it's supposed to do, the customer base is going to recoil a bit--and with good reason. If you were meant to explain every single part of a dish, why give me a menu at all?