I met a friend at Chez Papa yesterday. For various reasons, I hadn't been there before, and I knew it was a favorite of hers.
Prices struck me as extremely high for lunch, given the portion size. Service was attentive but pushy (wine, bottled water, $7 dessert) and occasionally misleading. Although the room was only half-full, acoustics were terrible and we could barely hear each other.
I ordered squash blossom beignets stuffed with Dungeness crab ($12.50) and a side of ratatouille ($4). She had the halibut entree with fava beans and a glass of Rosé. Our server asked my friend if she wanted fries or beans with her entree, never mentioning they were not included. The halibut was quite nice, although a small piece. The beans were okay, almost like cassoulet.
Plates were beautiful but not especially flavorful. None of the sauces stood out. My "beignets" came two to a plate, although a few minutes after I started eating, someone dropped off a third without any explanation (new chef in the kitchen?).
Total came to nearly $60, and I left hungry and glad I wasn't paying. Just wondering how typical an experience this is. I suspect the value equation would be better at dinner, but even so, the food did not stand out and I love a good bistro.