I recently had a most pleasurable stay at a 8 level Marriott in London. However, finding good value restaurants near the hotel was a problem. I suggest that the desk have a list of restaurants by type and price along with some directions. (forget about quick order places) In 4 nights 6 of us went to a different restaurant each night yet we had no workable (visual) directions or adequate information on the restaurants. I all cases the restaurants did not meet expectations and we got lost getting to them also.
Also neither the Concierge nor the desk asked for any feedback. I do believe that if they had, and we told them what we experienced, that the next guests would be better off.
I always do the research myself on restaurants before arriving in a city. I search various forums and read the reviews then start a list with the restaurant name, cusine and recommended dishes, address, general area of the city, opening days and times, and approximate cost. That way, I always have a recommended restaurant that a number of others found to be good to excellent.
And if there is a reliable guide available (Zagat for example) that is what I use. If you've got computer access you can always do a search online for good and less expensive places to dine.
Many hotels have a list but I find that asking someone at a cabstand, or coffee shop works better.
Good luck finding a place next time,
I'm a planner and usually arrive in a city knowing where I want to eat. My experience with concierges is not great. When I tell them I want a reasonably priced restaurant, they usually steer me to anything but (I think they get a kickback personally). My worst experience was in Paris, the conceirge recommended an Indian restaurant and the place was so damned expensive they charged 8 Euros for each individual bowl of rice. To add insult to injury, we've had better Indian food.
I'm with MikieG. I travel with my computer but also do as much advanced searching as possible for local travel options, best restaurants, special events, etc. For the latter, a national or city tourist bureau site is helpful, but for dining I use multiple google search terms, e.g. "best seafood restaurant" then the city and 2009. I have also found TripAdvisor to be helpful. Too many guides are outdated by the time you get them.
I also do ask the concierge, and have usually been satisfied, especially at the Rive Gauche, Athens Ledra, and Grand Flora.
Really good point both Mike and you present!
I have been lucky on my travels and have really found great values in London. Behind the Grosvenor, The Audley, has really spoiled me with its quality food at reasonable prices.
Paris, the same experiences. The Relias du Venice steakhouse and small places by Sacre Coeur have price fixed menus that just can't be beat.
I usually use trip advisor for all of my areas (food,lodging, tours etc....) it gives you and good first person review, you can also message people like on here for more info and more questions and concerns.
I found it to be a wealth of info for any trip that you may be taking.