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Manhattan

NICE MATIN: Awesome and Aweful

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NICE MATIN: Awesome and Aweful

Skillet Licker | Apr 13, 2005 02:29 AM

I've only been twice, well, really once. The first time I sat at the bar and left before ordering when I realized that the bartender-waiter was a complete amateur in whose hands I didn't want my meal to rest. I can't remember exactly what the problems were - just a healthy portion of incompetence and a sprinkling of attitude. To pull off a successful bar meal, the barkeep has to know what they're doing.

Well, that was nearly two years ago. I finally went back, for breakfast, and discovered superb food and, again, execrable service. I had a scramble of eggs, merquez sausage, topped with chives and creme fraiche. It was exquisitely velvety and soft (yet fully cooked)in a way that only the French and Japanese can make eggs. The side of hash browns, or at least the French equivilent, came out yellow, melting and delicious. I rarely eat breakfast out because it usually includes some combination of banal food and cuteness or both. Breakfast at Nice Matin was a study in simple, elegant perfection.

The cafe au lait was a travesty of coffee. Served lukewarm and devoid of flavor: like a cold, watery coffee soup. They should be arrested for this by the gastronomic police.

The biggest problem was the service. Even though there were only a few patrons and a full squadron of available staff, they got everything wrong. Literally. It was as if they were filming some reality tv show where even the simplist tasks were botched. How can a restaurant, after all this time successfully in business, be so inept?

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