Restaurants & Bars


A truly bizarre restaurant experience at Chez le Chef


More from Restaurants & Bars

Restaurants & Bars Manhattan

A truly bizarre restaurant experience at Chez le Chef

brooklynbee | | Jul 1, 2008 09:32 AM

I had a coffee date with a friend and was going to go to one of my fave places, Penelope, but they were packed and there was a 20 minute wait and my friend could not wait that long. We walked down the street and passed by a place on Lexington and 29th, Chez le Chef, that looked like a cute little French bistro. We figured, cool, we'll go there. We just wanted some coffee, maybe a fruit salad or something. So we went in and the place was completely empty - well, it's early, we figured, and most people were not eating lunch yet. So the chef (as evidenced by his full chef's uniform and hat) told us to take a seat upstairs. The place looked like, as my friend puts it "a Hallmark card." There were Christmas AND Valentine's day decorations everywhere and a mural on the wall with a tree and an owl. There were also are all these pictures on the wall of the Chef - Chef Frederic. He himself took our order. So we ordered a regular coffee, a cafe au lait, a croissant, and two fruit salads. We got the croissant and it was actually totally undercooked in the middle. I took one bite and did not eat another. It came with some kind of preserves and they smelled totally off - did not bother to taste that. Then we got the fruit salads, and the fruit on top tasted fine, then I got a little further in and the fruit started to taste really odd - turns out there was some kind of syrup/liquor in the dish, really over-the-top sweet and cloying. Then, my friend put milk in her coffee and the milk actually curdled. A busboy then came over and noticed we did not eat the croissant, and I said "Well it's actually undercooked" and he replies "It's fresh!" "It may be fresh," I said (although it clearly was not), "but it's undercooked." He responded, "You can pay downstairs" and took the croissant away. He did not bother to ask us why we did not eat our fruit salads or drink our coffees. Then we went downstairs to pay, and they charged us THIRTY DOLLARS for this meal of which we barely even took four bites. My friend paid the bill as she was in a rush and just wanted us to get out of there. Oddly enough, the chef seemed oblivious to the fact that we did not eat/like our items, even offering us two small cookies on our way out (which I declined). The whole experience was best characterized as extremely strange.