Wife and pal and I went to Gavroche (212 W 14th St between 7th and 8th Aves, 212-647-8553) for Sunday brunch today, and had an experience that was both exhilirating and frustrating at the same time.
We were greeted warmly and ushered into their lovely back garden, a wonderful space in which to eat on a pleasant, cool day such as today. Our beverages (juice and coffee, freshly squeezed and made from good beans, respectively) came quickly, and the friendly waitress took our food orders almost right away. We started with some light appetizers, including a *very* commendable chilled cucumber soup with a nice whisk of sour cream in it...
And then we waited. And waited. And waited.
Good thing it was a nice day and I had charming company with me, because we had plenty of time to chat. Roughly forty-five minutes elapsed between the serving of our apps and the arrival of our entrees.
Although there seemed to be a small army of back-waits and busboys, there was only one very overworked waitress handling the entire back-garden... problem one. And, problem two, there was some kind of crazy malfunction back in the kitchen, as people (not just us) were waiting a *long* time for their entrees to come out. Problem three, I had to ask not once, not twice, but *seven* (I counted) times to get some glasses of water sent to our table. (To their credit, once the water actually arrived, they kept the glasses full, which took some of the curse off of it, as far as I was concerned.)
When the food finally did arrive (with profuse apologies from staff) it was wonderful. I had steak frites (very rare) in a red wine sauce that was just lovely--tender and flavorful, with crisp hot fries. My wife's cold salmon-and-salad plate and our friend's herbed scrambled eggs (I snuck a little taste) were also quite good.
So... bottom line, the food is excellent, the service is terrible. If you've got time to kill, and have a patient nature, you can eat well here.
We will definitely give it another chance.