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Seeing Rouge!!!

Pork Butt King | Apr 9, 2003 09:16 PM

So my wife and I decided to give Rouge, on 70th road in Forest Hills a try tonight. We were both craving steak all day and were looking forward to a nice, simple French bistro meal.

We were both coming from work in Manhattan and decided to meet at the restaurant. I arrived first at about 6:45. The place was pretty dead. I struck up a conversation with the bartender, pleasant enough Irish fellow, who informed me that the entire staff, including kitchen, was either Irish or Italian. I asked him how business has been so far and he told me that the weekdays have been dead, but getting a table on the weekends was impossible.

My wife showed up right at 7:00 and we took a table. At this time there were only about a dozen or so other diners. We both ordered the house salad to start, I went with the Steak Frites and she went with the Filet.

They placed some bread and olives on the table. On the way to the bathroom I noticed the bread bag from Tom Cat. Standard Baguette, ok olives.

Salads arrived about 10 minutes after we ordered. basic mesculn salad with a nice vinaigrette. Just the right amount of dressing. We finish our salads as the restaurant starts to fill up.

Here is where the problems start. We then wait another 25 minutes before our waitress comes over to our table to inform us that our entrees will be right out. Ok, no big deal I think. 10 minutes later the Manager/ Owner? comes by gives an apology and tells us that our dinners are "being plated and will be out in 3-4 minutes".

At this point it is obvious that something went wrong. The waitress knows it, the Manager/Owner knows it & I certainly know it. The proper thing to do here now is offer us something like a free glass of wine or a free dessert after our meal. Instead we get no offer of any kind. Meanwhile our small bread basket and even smaller butter dish have been empty since we were half way done with our salads. Do we get a refill? hell no. I don't ask for one, because at this point I am amused at how pathetic the service is.

another 10 minutes and our entrees finally come out. At this point the restaurant is about 3/4 full. The steak frites was solid. Above average for the fare I'm used to in Forest Hills. My wife also enjoyed her filet that was sered with shallot mashed potatoes and a few string beans, not haircot verte.

We finish up our food and the back waiter clears our plates. We sit and wait another 10 minutes before I finally am able to make eye contact with our waitress. She comes over and I ask for the check. Nobody asked how our food was while we were eating and the Manager/owner dude never came back to check on us.

We then proceed to wait another 15 minutes for the check to arrive. The bill comes to $59 for 2 salads, our 2 entrees and 2 sodas. Seems like a reasonable price. I put down a $100 bill next to the check and the waitress promptly (finally!) comes by and picks it up. a minute later she returns with 2 twenties and a single as my change! Does this woman really think I'm going to leave a $20 tip or is she just incredibly stupid?

Now I have to wait another 5 minutes before I can flag her down and ask for a ten, a five & 5 singles. At this point the novelty of the situation has worn pretty thin after a long work day.

We finally get the change, I leave an appropriate tip and we bee line it out the door.

Bottom line:

Food = Good (above average for Forest Hills)
Service = awful!

This place has now been open for six weeks; any kinks should have been worked out long ago. Obviously the management at this place has no clue how to run a restaurant or train a staff.

I will not be back, and it's a shame because the neighborhood could really use a few more solid dining options.

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