This was our fourth time at Four Daughters Vineyard and all were special events: NYE dinner/dance, Thursday Night Chef's dinner, a wedding and now the Lobster Boil. I believe they are very good at putting on special events and the facilities are great for this purpose. The staff here are very friendly and accommodating. There is somewhat of a lack of adequate communication between staff people as we get differing information depending on who one talks to. We have been wanting to attend the summer Lobster boil for over a year now and finally made the call to do it. I called in July, but the August Lobster Boil was already filled, as we were told it was 125 people maximum. They decided to put on an additional September 8 Lobster Boil and we made reservations for that. Again a limit of 125 people. Later I was told there were 87 people signed up. On the day of the event I was told they had a problem with my credit card and I needed to pay before entering prior to entering at 6:45 pm. We arrived at 6:30 PM to pay the $237.26 (for two people), but then were told we could not do that until 7 PM. At 6:50 we entered the event center to pay, had appetizers and drinks until about 8 PM. Finally, we were told to pick up our salads and go out to the vineyard. We then saw there was far more than 100 people and found that 295 people were attending the event out in the vineyard. Two very, very long tables end to end with the lobsters being boiled in the center between them. About 8:30 the servers dumped bucket loads of cooked potatoes, sausage, shrimp, mussels, clams and corn directly on the tables about every six feet. By this time it was completely dark, with the tables barely illuminated by groups of candles. We had to use flashlights (thankful for our smart phones) in order to even see the food. I was seated directly by the candles so I could not reach any of the food dumped on the table from either side of me. I had to rely on others to hand me food and some of it was all cold by the time I could get it. We were plied with wine aplenty but the servers came by infrequently, so it was difficult to get the type of wine you wanted, and when I did get some the server tripped on the chair in front of her (being too dark) and she also missed my glass spilling wine all over my hand. We had no plates to eat from (the paper salad plates were taken away) and finally in complete darkness about 8:50 PM the whole lobsters had arrived. Again had to use smart phone flashlights to see them. My wife's lobster was under cooked and tough, mine was okay but being about 50 degrees outside my lobster was very cold before I could break it all open and try to see what I was eating at the same time. Again it was to be eaten directly off the table (no plate), so being boiled it was laden with water and many people had water running off the table onto their laps. I used about 30 sheets of paper towels to try to keep my pants dry. As part of the event there was live music, but we could not hear it at all because they were playing at the other table about 200 feet away. The chef came by and proudly said he cooked 325 lobsters for the evening. The problem was that this was about 3 times the number of people to handle effectively and timely. Why couldn't this event have started outside earlier in daylight when the temperature was a bit warmer and we could see what we were doing? Either that or better lighting could be provided. Dessert was provided inside starting at 9:30 PM. We left about 10 PM because the desserts were dry and we could not hear the music anyway. Maybe the August event was much better, but we likely will not spend over $200 again to have a very disappointing evening.
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