Terrible service experience -- how mad should I be?

We had some out-of-town guests over the weekend and we took them to one of our favorite restaurants on Saturday night. We made a reservation for 7 p.m. and had plans to drop by another event nearby that ran from 8-10. Plenty of time, right?

From the moment we were seated, service was abysmal. We had to ask for menus. We had to ask for a wine list. We had to ask to place our order. Two of us sat with empty wine glasses through the entree and no one stopped by to ask if we wanted more. Our waitress finally made it by to check on the food AFTER THE TABLE HAD BEEN BUSSED. When it was time to get the check, we sat for 45 minutes between asking for the check and finally signing the slips; during the time she had our cards, she sat another table and served them their first course.

We did talk to the manager, who gave us a perfunctory apology, but by that point, our night was ruined. We walked out at 10 p.m., three hours after we walked in, completely missing the other event.

To rub salt in the wound, while all this was going on, another table of bloggers was tweeting about their fantastic experience and the restaurant was reposting pictures of the party posing with the chef and their server. At that point I lost it and called them out on Twitter -- something I NEVER do. So far, I've gotten apologies from the food cart affiliated with the restaurant, but nothing from the restaurant itself.

So here's my question: How mad should I be? And what could/should the restaurant have done to fix the situation?


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