Let me start by saying I was really stoked when this place opened. Early on, after schlepping all over Brooklyn looking for some Jean-Georges vinaigrette I was thrilled when I found virtually "in my own backyard." Since then I've been in for Boddingtons, D'Artagnan products, Zapps chips, great chocolates etc, often putting together gift baskets from their great stock. So, I walk in this week and notice some champagne vinegar, same brand and style, but the bottles have different hues, amber vs. yellow/light straw. I ask the stockboy about the diff. and he says "Maybe," I think it was "Bruce (?) might know something about it." When I ask this dude behind the cheese counter, he shrugs that he doesn't really know why they would vary, then adds: "It's not like it's Heinz you know, where every bottle's going to be just the same." I replied "ohhhhhhhhhhhh-K", expecting some sort of smile from him or SOME human response, but nothing, so I added, "There's no need to be patronizing about it you know." -- As though I were some idiot who'd never used anything better than mass produced, supermarket vinegar. Still, no reply, just stares back at me. No 'Oh i didnt mean' or "Oh sorry," or ANYthing. The small bit of the exchange after that was neither here nor there... So then, I want to buy a few items and bring them to the counter where his lordship reigns (and where the cash register USED to be located), and seeing me there he asks something, which I didnt catch and asked him to repeat, which he did. But it didn't make any sense to me ( I had my cycle helmet on, and there was music playing), so asked once more , whereupon he spat out the words "Would you like some CHEESE" -- with this expression beyond annoyance on his face! In fact he looked like he thought I was trying to provoke him into a fight and was about to rise to the occassion. Rattled, I sputtered 'uh no, I just want to get these' -- at which point he indicates the other side of the store and growls something at me about where to pay. SHEESH!
The owner, Daphne, has always been beyond pleasant when I've been in, helpful, informative, friendly and sometimes even TOO chatty, in a good way. But she needs to look in on her staff sometime and see what's going on in her absence. I could see if the place was jammed, but it was a weekday afternoon and the place was empty. With D'Vine Taste expanding, Blue Apron, the wonderful Union Market around, and even 5th ave Key food carrying D'Artagnan, I'll think twice about stopping by this place anytime soon for impulse goodies or even staples.