We had dinner last night at Bleu with a friend from LA. We chose it for the location and an ambience that allowed conversation (Rouge was way too noisy). So I must say I didn't expect a great meal.
The service was embarassingly poor. The place was pretty empty on a sultry Monday night. Our waitress was attentive, but in the "won't you drink more so the tab increases rapidly" kind of way. I have never had someone bend across the entire table so many times completely blocking off the conversation! Granted the table was in a tricky position but it would have been possible to reach around us. I literally had to stop mid-sentence and lean out of the way several times.
Two of us had the roasted beet salad and an order of mussels. My husband started with the duck confit salad (which he really liked) and then had mussels as well. The roasted beet salad was surprisingly skimpy on the beets, but had nice spring greens, goat cheese and pine nuts. But someone in the kitchen covered the whole plate in salt. I ate it thinking I should send it back, but didn't. Later I noticed a diner at a table next to us send back his entree complaining it was covered with salt.
I have to say the mussels were really quite good. While some were overdone, there were no throw aways in the batch and they were beautifully clean. The spicy sauce was perfect and the grilled bread that came along with the order helped sop up juices (the main point of mussels right?!) Come to think of it was a good thing the bread was grilled because the bread they offered with the salads was inexcusably stale.
When we payed the tab the server left with the credit card and was gone for awhile. She then returned and dropped another tab on the table forgetting entirely that she had already taken our card. Had the house been packed I might have understood. This was just sad.
I remind myself that sitting in the window, watching the light change over the park while the city slowly cools down from the heat was really the point of the evening. The mussels turned out to be a bonus.
We followed the meal with a lingering glass of wine at Tria (a gem!) before heading home.