I go to restaurants for food, so atmosphere and surroundings, décor and atmosphere are usually not very important. But there are limits, as my trip to Elle M'a Dit on Baldwin proved.
Upon arrival, you are led up a creaky stairway to the “dining room.” It is actually the living room of an old house. In its natural state. Nothing has been done to brighten or to decorate in the slightest. It is just four old plaster walls. The lighting is supplied by a couple of suspended light globes. With the plain wooden table, there isn’t even a white tablecloth to dispel the gloom. . It is the darkest, dingiest, depressing and vaguely unsettling place I’ve seen in a long time. OK, I maybe the food would make up for it.
I ordered the coq au vin with spatezle. It was fairly good but not distinguished. However, the portion was small and it didn’t come any salad or greens. Astoundingly, they don’t even serve bread with the meal. My wife order baeckeoffe, a casserole of tasteless and tough overcooked meat cubes that has been cooked to death under a layer of equally tasteless sliced potatoes. At least she got a side salad.