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Leaving NY tomorrow / very bad experience at Balthazar

Warrington, United...
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Leaving NY tomorrow / very bad experience at Balthazar

I write this qwith a heavy heart...tomorrow I fly home to the UK after having the time of my life with my 23 year old daughter...Our trip has been amazing, the weather superb and NY has yet again left a huge imprint on my heart.

We stayed at the Sofitel and it is a first class hotel. the staff are eager to please and go a bove and beyond the call of duty.........however, we have just returned for our last night in NY after having dinner at Balthazar and I have never been so pleased to get out of a restaurant in my life..

If you know Balthazar you will know the tables are very close together, my daughter and myself were on a corner table (we were sat as an L shape) with another couple alongside sat opposit each other, he looked to be mid 30's she looked very young maybe 17/18, both the waiter and maitre'd asked for ID for her, the guy insisted he was her fiance and she took a fit of the giggles, obviously that was not true...their behaviour was disgusting, from their conversation I think she may have been with him on 'business' if you know what I mean, he was fondling her and she was leaning right across the table kissing him in a most innapropriate manner. Their was another couple on the table next to them and they too were upset by this behaviour, I tried to ignore it but because of my seating position It was very difficult...the shocking thing for me is that the restaurant let it carry on.

I wanted to complain but my daughter asked me not to but I do intend to contact the restaurant on my return, I'm fuming that our last night at what we thought was a really nice restaurnt was ruined by 2 people who should have been asked to leave the restaurant.

I will not return to Balthazar as obviously their standards are way below what I expect from a 'good' restaurant.

New Orleans...
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1. Re: Leaving NY tomorrow / very bad experience at Balthazar

Call me crazy, but you should have informed the couple if they were bothering you. Balthazar is a good restaurant, but they don't provide babysitting.

Queens, New York
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2. Re: Leaving NY tomorrow / very bad experience at Balthazar

Sorry that killed your meal, but it sounds like you are having an otherwise great trip! I'd love to know what else you've done.

On the subject of bad restaurant patrons, read our long tale of woe ahead:

About three months ago, I was very lax about my spouse's birthday and had to quickly salvage my pride and the deteriorating evening. It was raining, and the two venues I thought of had long waits. We finally decided to go to one of our fave places, Giorgio's of Gramercy.

Since we came around 8:45 pm, all tables were full of patrons finishing their meals. We were eventually seated next to a couple that seemed to be having a "bad night."

it was pretty easy to eavesdrop on the sad couple's troubles. At first, we found it amusing, frankly. Ah, the typical lovers' quarrel. Young foolish love! Maybe it was entertaining because we ourselves were having a lousy night?

Well, it quickly took a turn for the worse. Even though they were soft-spoken, he was really getting quite verbally abusive, and she was becoming a simpering doormat. We were really getting horrified. We couldn't enjoy our meal (which was, BTW, incredibly delicious as usual!)

They were so engrossed in their fight, that they didn't even notice us - right next to them - rolling our eyes and talking about their troubles, analyzing them. We thought we were saved when they finished their meals and she went moping off to the ladies room.

No such luck. She came back and they ordered dessert and coffee.

I was ready to knock over their table. Their sniping and pathetic self-righteousness continued through their aperitif, and I finally asked my partner, "do you mind if I tell them to shut up?" She said, "Not at all, but what if he tells you to go eff yourself?"

He didn't look like he'd carry a gun, so we spent the next two minutes strategizing.

Finally, the restaurant was nearly empty and I turned to them and said, "Sir, would you please be a man and break up with her? And Miss, would you please be a woman and break up with him? You're obviously not meant for each other and you're ruining our meal."

Oddly, instead of decking me, he proceeded to tell me what a horrible person she was and how deeply he was suffering at her hands. I said, "I know, you've been complaining about her for the past 30 minutes. We were seated here because there was no where else to sit. Who told you to have your fight out in public? Go do it somewhere else. Why did you order dessert anyway?"

They shut up, got the bill, and left.

All the waiters came over to us and applauded. We got free dessert and hot chocolate, and a free dessert wine. We all had a good laugh, and we all agreed that the miserable pair probably went home and had the best roll in the hay they've had in months.

So, the lessons are: - 1. in NYC, all money is green, as the saying goes. 2. There's nothing wrong with complaining about misbehaving patrons. And 3. you may have missed your chance for a free chocolate mousse.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Leaving NY tomorrow / very bad experience at Balthazar

Oh My, Queensboulevard, that was probably one the best replies I have ever read to a post...period!!!! Thank you for that, and for the "smile" I had when finished reading it!!!!!

I haven't really posted here yet, as my son & I aren't going to do our "first" visit until June, but I can't wait to hear all you comments when I ask you all questions (Ofcourse that aren't in the FAQ's)...I love reading this forum! Thanks All! You're all really great! :-)


Durham, United...
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4. Re: Leaving NY tomorrow / very bad experience at Balthazar

Qb that was brilliant! You've brightened up my otherwise dreary Tuesday morning. Wish I had your balls, I wouldn't have dreamed of saying anything to the couple!

To the OP, I would've complained to Balthazar at the time as it sounds as if this couple ruined your evening. Why didn't your daughter let you? It sounds as if your experience couldn't have got any worse and maybe you would've felt better if you'd done something.

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5. Re: Leaving NY tomorrow / very bad experience at Balthazar

qb did the right thing - go to the source - the restaurant is not going to jeopardize themselves when money is in the equation- meals, tips etc.

I agree with qb and ange - YOU should have taken the initiative and spoken to the offending couple directly - why sit and suffer?

Hopefully, lesson learned.


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6. Re: Leaving NY tomorrow / very bad experience at Balthazar

You reminded me of an experience we had at brunch at the Ritz Carlton in Philly. We were spending the weekend catching up with friends (and we were staying at the hotel), and were having Sunday brunch. We were seated next to a table with a few families, including at least two disruptive toddlers and a crying infant. Now, we try to be understanding, but come on folks, take the kids out to the lobby when they've had enough! Well we only rolled our eyes and complained amongst ourselves UNTIL one mom decided to change a dirty (and I do mean dirty) diaper on top of the table! In full view and scent of others trying to enjoy a leasurely brunch! We then complained, they spoke to the offenders, I cannot remember now if they comped us anything.

County Clare...
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for County Clare, Aran Islands, Bunratty, The Burren
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7. Re: Leaving NY tomorrow / very bad experience at Balthazar

Yankeemom. That's horrible - we travel with our kids alot, and would always be sensitive to fellow diners - yuck!

Do remember an airline employee telling us that she had been handed a used diaper (nappies over here) to dispose, so at least you were not put in that situation.

Have eaten twice in Balthazar, last time 2003, and enjoyed it both times. Difficult situation - have found myself quietly fuming a couple of times over the years by others behaviour - but have never taken any measures like QB - so well done!

West Palm Beach...
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8. Re: Leaving NY tomorrow / very bad experience at Balthazar

QB, you're the BEST!!!

LadyLou, you can't fault Balthazar for the behavior of its patrons. If you don't complain, how would they even know you're unhappy?

But I'm curious that the one negative experience is the only thing you find worth writing about. C'mon, you must have had some positive experiences?

New York City, New...
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9. Re: Leaving NY tomorrow / very bad experience at Balthazar

Its hard to comment about it without experiencing it first hand, but unless you complained to the management and didnt get satisfaction, it really has nothing to do with Balthazar, which the title of your post would imply....

this could happen anywhere - and often does - on the street...

NYC isnt Disneyland! There are more family oriented places we can recommend for your future trips if amorous adults in a bistro offends...

Uppsala, Sweden
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10. Re: Leaving NY tomorrow / very bad experience at Balthazar

QB - I wish I had the balls to say something like that, you are the best.