Reservations were made at Angeline’s in Bloomfield, PEC, for Easter brunch, largely based on the reputation of Michael Potters, formerly of Harvest, and now the Chef de Cuisine at Angeline’s. We have previously enjoyed some fine meals at Harvest, though had been troubled by uneven service. That was the theme of today’s brunch.
Hubby and I arrived at 12:35 and were seated quickly. The table setting was the first sign that all was not well- packaged jams on metal container, sugar packets in badly repaired porcelain dish, paper napkins and one lonely tulip in a vase. Festive Easter it was not. Unbalanced elevator music, heavy on the base, provided more ambience.
Hubby started with mimosa, I enjoyed a glass of Huff chardonnay and we placed our order. He asked for smoked salmon on rosti and I went for the warm vichyssoise with oyster mushrooms, white asparagus and truffle oil. The bread was tasty, a good thing as this was all we had until 1:45. Our server was very good, apologised for delay after one half hour, told us drinks were to be comped, came back later and told us entire meal would be comped. Clearly there was a cock- up in the kitchen. At first we thought that there was a sous-chef holding forth, but a peak in the kitchen enroute to the loo confirmed that Chef Potters was indeed in house.
At 1:45 the starters finally arrived. The soup was divine, and hubby was pleased with his choice, the salmon (in house smoked) being particularly good. We thought things were looking up. We ate rather quickly (starving by then!), plates were cleared away and waited at least another 20 minutes for our mains. Besides us, there were 3 tables of 2 and one table of 8 adults and 2 kids, hardly a huge house. By the time our mains finally arrived, most had cleared out. Hubby enjoyed classic eggs benny on salmon and I ordered coddled eggs with Lighthall Tomme from Fifth Town, accompanied by a pear and endive salad. The coddled eggs were hard boiled and the dressing on the salad very insipid. Again, the clearly embarrassed young man who was serving us was very good, but the offer of a third glass of comped wine was not going to save the day. As we ate, a woman came out and noisily reset tables for the dinner service. The clinking of cutlery and glasses did not add anything positive! We finished up, left a tip and went out to try and salvage some of Sunday afternoon.
We were pleased that our young server was apologetic and comped our meal- appropriate action, but at no time did Chef Potters come on to the floor to offer an apology. Though he is not the owner of the restaurant, he features large on the web site and one would think that he might take some responsibility for what was clearl ynot a great Easter brunch. Fortunately we live in the County and had not wasted a lot of driving time.However, given the number of fine restaurants in the county and environs, I don't think we'll be returning.
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