We had a 6:45 reservation for four, and our table was ready when we arrived. Le Mannequin Pis is a charming little place, and it has a cozy feel, but that is only partly due to the number of tables crammed in the small space. Although somewhat early for a Saturday dinner crowd, the restaurant was full and understandably, the noise level was a bit high. Still, it wasnt that noisy and didn't warrant the embarrassingly loud recitation by our waiter of the daily specials. Topped with his painfully incorrect pronunciation of several dishes, we wished that they had written down the specials and attached them to the menu to be reviewed quietly. The bread basket did finally arrive, but not until just before our entrees were served. Now, this next part has me puzzled, especially since I read a couple of reviews that specifically mentioned diners sharing mussels dishes. My parents wanted to split the asparagus appetizer, and so asked for an extra plate when they ordered it. However, our waiter informed us that the chef was an artiste and as such, didnt allow sharing! My father was a bit taken aback by this pronouncement, but didnt make a fuss (as is his wont), and managed to subtly use his bread plate as an appetizer plate.
My parents both ordered the roti de porc for their entrees, which they loved. The pork featured a gorgonzola sauce and was served with wilted spinach on the side. With my first taste of one of the mussels in my husbands boullabaise (the only one he would let me have), I understood why this restaurant is known for the mussels. I was the only one to order off the menu. Having a beef craving, I went with one of the restaurants standard dishes, the steak with pommes frites. My family lived in Paris, France in the late 60's, and eating the steak frites brought back so many wonderful memories of that time. The frites at Le Mannequin Pis surely must be the most authentic in the area and the steak, still slightly red and juicy, was cooked to perfection. It was a bit uncomfortable having the hear our waiter curtly chewing out the food runners who had initially given everyone the wrong entree, but that part was over quickly.
We had some fun figuring out the rest room situation. My father came back and insisted that the bathrooms were unisex. A cheerful waitress in her ninth month of pregnancy laughingly invited him to look closer at the doors, and said that he would spot the picture of the mannequin, er, pissing, on the door to the mens room. Sure enough, dad had used the ladies room....
All in all, our experience was good and we had a great time. Theres no other restaurant in this area that serves up Belgian cuisine like Le Mannequin Pis, and I look forward to going back soon.
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