The beginning of our night was quite nice, and our waitress, Laurence, was charming. She promptly opened our wine bottles and asked how our day was. She continued providing excellent service throughout the night, except I believe an extra waiter for our somewhat packed room might have helped make service smoother . The ambiance, however, wasn't to our liking, and we felt like we were in a reception room rather than a restaurant. There were tables with spare wine glasses and utensils in the middle of the room, and the sound level was very high, to the point where we had trouble understanding each other during the dinner.
The food was very uninspired. What was described as "tapas" was nothing more than small appetizers fit only for a single person, as opposed to what we thought would be plates we could have easily shared. They were priced as a standard tapas plate would be in most other tapas restaurants in the city, which we found very exaggerated and misleading. We even had to order a second batch when we realized we'd need one plate per person.
After the "tapas" came the salads. We found the quality of the lettuce to be very good, and the salad wasn't soggy at all. However, I was unimpressed with the dressing, as it had clearly been layered on top with a dressing bottle and not mixed in.
The mains were probably the most disappointing part of the meal. I found it took quite a long time before they arrived, and my meat wasn't cooked properly. I had ordered my steak rare, and I got a medium cooking. There was also a mix up in the plates, and I had to give the mushrooms I had received to another one of the diners (who had also ordered a rare steak that turned out to be overcooked). Only one of the eight diners at our table got a rare piece of meat, and they had ordered it medium. One of the diners had ordered salmon, and we all remarked it looked dry, which she confirmed. The sides were also disappointing, as each diner only got a single cherry tomato and boring green beans. Moreover, the sauces were very dull, and I'm pretty sure they were powder based.
Deserts were nothing more than average. I had a mi-cuit with a cappuccino, and both were on par with what you'd expect from most restaurant chains. They seemed to make a big deal out of their Lavazza beans, but my coffee was average at best.
All in all, I must say I'm unimpressed with Steak Frites St-Paul. I believe they're doing their best to compensate for their lost wine revenues (it's BYOW), and it has a huge impact on the food quality.
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