...yes, the food is very good - and yes, the service really stinks.
If you do not speak French, be prepared for a heavy dose of attitude - along with whatever else you're having to eat...if you even manage to get what you ordered.
In fact, even if you do speak French very well, you will have to work hard to get some decent service from the young, snarky waitstaff - only one of whom seems to care about his chosen profession but stayed put behind the bar. I miss the old waitstaff, who were grumpy as all-get-out, but were entirely professional and did a good job, in spite of everything.
I was the guest of some visiting American friends, and if I had not raised an appropriately French commotion several times during the meal, we would not have enjoyed a decent experience at all. Here's the rundown...
My friends from Texas made the mistake of attempting to say "Bon soir" when we arrived - which pegged them as Tourists with a capital T and pretty much sealed our fate. I ordered in French for everyone, and had to beg for the wine list, since it was not offered. Then, the waiter returned, slapped down 4 amuse-gueules of something soup-like and 4 glasses with a little white wine in them and disappeared without a word. Since we had no spoons to eat the soup with, I asked for them, and inquired about what he had given us. "Soup. Free soup." Four spoons plopped in the middle of the table, and again, he zoomed away. Since we were the only customers in the place, I could only assume that he was in the middle of a winning poker hand and would get back to us as soon as he could.
The "free soup" turned out to be gazpacho, and the wine was never identified, but was not something I would have chosen to order. Apparently, our waiter lost a bundle in the back room poker game, since he was in a really crummy mood for the rest of the evening. Thankfully, he got busy waiting on other tables and forgot about - or avoided - us. Perhaps that was why we did not receive the food we ordered - or anything remotely close to it. It took quite a while for this to be sorted out, since all 4 waiters got involved in the discussion, and I had to assure each of them that we were not the ones at fault and therefore should not have to eat something we did not want and definitely did not order - very clearly and in French. The correct bottle of wine was delivered and served properly, at least.
By this time, we had been seated for over one hour with only a thimble-full of cold soup and wine, and jet lag was creeping up on one of my friends, who leaned her head back on the banquette and closed her eyes for a moment. Our poker-playing buddy appeared out of nowhere, snapped his fingers in her face and snarled, "No sleeping!" Needless to say, I responded with some pretty impressive - and very stern - French vocabulary. It took all the waiters 2 attempts before everyone had the right dish in front of them - but at this stage of the game, my friends would have been very happy to eat a boiled shoe and be done with it.
Desserts had been ordered at the beginning of the meal, as is specified on the menu. However, our waiter had either forgotten to place the order, or had given our desserts to another table, instead. So, another 20 minutes or so passed while ours were prepared. Once again, we were served incorrect items, which had to be replaced with what we had ordered, and the Grand Marnier souffle arrived half-deflated, since it had apparently been forgotten in a corner somewhere, and did not come with the little glass of liqueur, as is the tradition. When I pointed this out to the waiter, he slammed a glass of Grand Marnier on the table and stormed off - which is exactly what we should have done, about 90 minutes earlier.
I have a hard time understanding what went wrong with this evening's performance - I hesitate to call it a dining experience, since it was more like a French farce than anything else. Even if our waiter had been new, there was no excuse for everything to go so terribly wrong - and losing poker hand or not, absolutely no excuse for pulling attitude on customers, even Tourists with a capital T.
If you decide to eat here, make certain to bring along a person who speaks very good French and does not take any nonsense - that elderly nun who taught you French in high school would be an excellent choice, if the French Minister of Education is not available. If this is not possible, make sure to point to the menu items you wish to enjoy, just order the house red or white wine (both are actually very good and reasonably priced), and cross your fingers. If the food you wanted does arrive, you will probably enjoy it very much. Just don't order a side of "waiter-with-attitude", and everything should be fine.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.