After reading great things about Tartufo, a small Italian restaurant deemed to be one of Lyon’s best, I was really pleased to reserve a table there for a weekday lunch with a friend. (The restaurant is, in fact, only open on weekdays for lunch.) My friend had already been to Tartufo three times in the past with her father, a businessman who works close by the restaurant and enjoyed it.
I read many local French reviews before booking and was aware that the owner/chef was known for his pretentious attitude. After 6 years in Paris, I figured I could take it and was eager to go anyway. However, when we arrived at the restaurant – two women under the age of 30 – I knew we had a serious problem on our hands.
The owner looked us up and down, then barked: ‘Did you 2 reserve? Oh really? Hmmm, back there, go back there then!’ and waved us to the back corner of the restaurant. I spend a portion of my monthly budget on going to nice restaurants, and was very put off by his very rude attitude.
We are quite patient so we sat and waited for him to arrive to tell us about the 2 daily main dishes. There is no menu, and the owner must come to your table and tell you about the specials himself, a good concept – in theory!
15 minutes later as we watched him wander around making coffees, kissing friends on the cheek and chatting with a table of older businessmen (his preferred clientele), we flagged the waitress to politely ask if he could come tell us the specials. When she informed him he had missed our table, he nearly laughed in her face. Another 15 minutes went by where he washed out a cup, took dessert orders from other tables, stood by the door, etc. He was literally waiting for us to leave, which was quite perplexing because as far as I know, Tartufo is not Bocuse and even then, my credit card is excepted just as many places as an older businessman’s is.
At nearly the 40 minute mark (we wanted to wait it out, just on principal), we stood up and walked out. He watched us go, with a satisfied smile.
I strongly encourage restaurant goers to AVOID this establishment – there is a great Italian down the street from Tartufo, called Momento Sapori e Vini. If I could give this restaurant a negative rating, I would. I was horrified by the owner/chef’s blatant disrespect and utter tasteless arrogance – he is a shame to the wonderful world of gourmet food that Lyon is known for.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.