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Disappointing Evening at Le Bar Lyonnais (long)

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Disappointing Evening at Le Bar Lyonnais (long)

JanR | Jan 25, 2005 08:19 AM

Let me preface this by saying that we were here last fall and had a great time. Service was very attentive and we were very pleased with our meal, I should also say that my mood was probably not the greatest last night. After a long drive in bad weather, we were still in an anticipatory mood when we arrived at LBL. The place was packed (fine, the mezzanine was closed for a private party last night). We were led to a table in the back room (also fine). Problem is, this is a tiny space and they had put an extra chair on a table meant for three which was right next to ours. This chair made it impossible to get to my seat without asking one of the four young women seated at this table to move, which I did (since the hostess just stood there and looked at me). The seated young woman seemed extremely put out and, as I was seated, told me "you'd better not have to go anywhere anytime soon" (so as not to disturb her, I assume…wasn’t said in a joking manner). So, bad beginning. Also, one of the women was much closer to me than my dining partner. I think it was a very bad idea to make that table a four-top. On to the meal: I had the pumpkin soup which was fine until I stirred in the couli which gave it an overbearing onion flavor which I thought detracted. My husband had the risotto, which I tasted. Definitely had better elsewhere. We both had the salmon as entrees. Really nothing special. Dessert for both of us was the almond raspberry cake, a tiny, tough cake. BTW, we were never offered water, nor were we given butter with our rolls (and I did hear one of the "lovely" young women at the next table say "what do you have to do to get bread around here??"). Now I know Le Bec Fin can do better than this. Perhaps Georges thinks restaurant week people are cheapskates who would never come to his upstairs restaurant anyway. I also know I’ve had much better food at Pif, Marigold, Pumpkin and almost any of the byob’s in the area. This has soured me on restaurant week and I’m seriously thinking of canceling our reservation at La Famiglia later in the week. It’s definitely soured me on Le Bar Lyonnais. One last note: I ordered a wine which was priced at $11.00 on the menu but appeared on our bill as $12.00. We said nothing. The service (so unlike last time) was not attentive and everyone (including Georges’ erstwhile charming brother) seemed harried. When I asked Georges’ brother (sorry, don’t know his name) to see the wine list so that we could order a dessert wine, he kind of barked “what do you want?” What I wanted was time to choose but I was intimated into letting him choose (a fruity muscat which I really didn’t like). Not like the person I met last time. As I said, the place was packed.

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