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Review of Cafe Brio

Cafe Brio
Ranked #10 of 1,239 Restaurants in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Lunch, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Harris Green
Reviewed 16 May 2012

I had not eaten at Cafe Brio for some time. We went for dinner on a Sunday evening as a special treat with out-of-town family guests.
All I can say is.......... I assumed, judging by the incredibly poor service and really mediocre food, that the restaurant had changed owners. Apparently not! In talking to a few friends, they have had an experience similar to ours.
The prices are still outrageous - what is going on????????

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7  Thank VictoriaHomebody
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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732 - 736 of 911 reviews

Reviewed 13 May 2012

I am a local and have gone to this restaurant at least half a dozen times...maybe more. I made a reservation and even mentioned it was a birthday for my spouse...not expecting anything..other than....maybe congrats on the birthday for someone at the table....little thing...but maybe some acknowledgement.

I have met Silvia and Greg on a couple of occasions. Silvia on a few more occasions and she is amazing..phenomenal front of the house..I'm embarrassed this waiter actually works for them..and some of the other staff who made little effort to attend to anything!! If Silvia had been there I would have spoken to her about it.

For my spouse I was embarrassed for how bad the service was. The kicker was our main server..even when I told him this was the worst service at the end of the meal..and one of the worst tips I have given ever....he tried to suggest was it the "wait time" from the kitchen....nothing worse than blaming the best part of the meal..the food is good..so for that I was very thankful....however not even realizing how bad your service is...death for a restaurant.

The following would be my interpretation of the service..I'm sure this server doesn't remember..so I'll refresh:

- not much of a greeting to welcome us...the leaving us waiting 10-15 min., while he chit-chatted at the bar and with other staff...and ran around for a period like he was scrambling..although the place didn't look that busy.

- When I asked what suggestions he had of the menu..it was a glance over...hmmm all is local..menu changes...WOW that is helpful...I have been there..so yes I know the menu changes..I'm asking you to present what might be really good..help me out with what the kitchen is doing with what is on the list for the night...maybe have some kind of interaction....

-Take the order...then rush over with a soup spoon as someone else is serving it...brutal..you knew the order..get that ready ahead of time!!

-Too busy to bring the wine..another staff member presents the half carafe..then brings a glass..and Yes I have to pour my own glass..ditto for pouring the San Pelligrino....if I wanted to serve myself..I would have eaten at home.

-Not ask anything about the appetizers...my spouse had two. He ordered Pate...honestly no bread with it....really..having to ask twice for bread..really..staff were standing around..it was a later sitting...how is that?..if you had asked..maybe you would have realized..pate on its own..without bread..not so good.

-Another staff member brings the appetizers..not sure where they go...hmmm...self-service again.

-Then during that process...waiter drops in to ask if spouse is having "such and such"...No..got the order wrong..but don't worry he can sort it out. If you can't take an order by memory...DON'T..Write it down and take the time...this I find unacceptable.

-Main Course..yet again delivered by someone else..by this point waiter was too busy with another more "profitable" table from what I could see....yes in fairness he did ask how things were at that point...but interaction is too late at that point..you have lost the customers.

I haven't written on trip advisor for a long time. I really like this restaurant..I think the food is amazing..and owners take a lot of care....So How Does this Happen??

I just couldn't let this go...How is it that waiters presume they get 15-20% automatically...without putting in the effort....By the way Saying "Sorry" at the end of an experience is too late...especially when you didn't even realize what went wrong. You need to pay attention to what is going on during the process.

As for the other staff helping out...if you have time to sit and chit-chat to one another at the bar..comment about what you are planning to eat for supper...YOU also have ownership to make sure each individual, table etc., who are spending...Good Money..ie $100, $150, sometimes $200-$300 eating out...THAT THE EXPERIENCE MATTERS.

As for the kitchen..amazing food..quality local ingredients..presentation is very good..so for them..this night really warranted a 4-5. For service I equate my experience to one I could have had at the local pub...which was my main reason for this review.

I have had very good service before at this restaurant....I do not know the waiter or any of the staff that served us. I speak for myself and comments that my spouse made to me during and after the meal.

Signed one very frustrated and actually caring customer.

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6  Thank ahall88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
restaurateur2, Owner at Cafe Brio, responded to this reviewResponded 14 May 2012

Silvia and I are out of the country on holiday but my staff sent me your comments.
Needless to say we are very concerned and would welcome the opportunity to talk to you when we return in early June. We want to make this right. Please call me at the restaurant after June 2nd.
If I'm not there, leave a message for me. I WILL call you.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2012

We were in Victoria on vacation for two nights. We went to Cafe Brio the first night and it was so amazing we went back for our second night. The atmosphere was lovely, the staff was efficient and friendly, and the food was beyond amazing. The cured meat stuffed olives, chicken liver pate, and duck with figs were all incredible, but there was nothing less than amazing.

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Thank MelB828
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2012

I am a little bit picky with food due to some diet restrictions, so I always asked if their ingredients is fresh every time we ate out. I love food with cheese. I love their veal and yes.. food that is from the local market.

Thank Jo M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2012

The service was great but that didn't make up for the mediocre food and bland presentation. The olive side was terrible and flavorless and touted as a special family recipe? The special of the day had a funny odor, boring cream sauce and rubbery scallops. The sorbet was icy and not all that tasty. I was here three years ago and the food was much better then. I was sadly disappointed on this visit. There are better restaurants for the price in Victoria.

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2  Thank sailhersue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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