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Nougatine Brunch - wow (great!) and wow (horrible!)

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Nougatine Brunch - wow (great!) and wow (horrible!)

binkis | Apr 14, 2008 11:44 AM

My wife and I went to Sunday brunch at Nougatine this weekend. Noon reservation. The experience mirrored our lunch at Perry Street last year. The service was as lousy as the food was delicious - which was quite a bit in both cases.

We arrived at 12:05pm and the small outer lobby was filled with 4-5 parties waiting for their tables while 4-5 staffers looked quizzically at their computer screen and debated. We were sat after about 5 minutes, though there was no "we'll be right with you" or "if you don't mind waiting". We just sort of stood there.

When we sat down, it took 5 minutes for anyone to come by, even to fill our water glasses. "Would you like something to drink?" our server finally asked. "Is there a list?" I asked (since I wanted one of the sodas, but didn't know what kind was available). The server gave me a look which was 80% confusion and 20% annoyance, but he returned with proper menus.

Perhaps I should get the rest out of the way all at once:

* After our appetizer, it took at least 25 minutes for our entrees to arrive. No one came by to check with us or apologize.
* We ordered a side of sausage with our breakfast. It never arrived. Fortunately, neither were we billed for it.
* They dropped a roll while trying to serve it, and nearly knocked over my wife's wine glass while retreating with the water pitcher
* They neatly slid a knife in place, while clumsily sliding aside my used butter knife off the mat and to the table.

None of this made for a significant problem, per se, but was awfully surprising. But here's the good news: The food was terrific!

We started with the pea soup. It should have been more pea-y (for those who watch ICA, you'll understand if I say that it didn't have enough pea-ness), but was delicious with bits of brie and crunchy croutons. The eggs benedict was absolutely delicious! From the perfect egg to the delicious ham to the scrumptious english muffin (you read that right). Plus, the salad on the plate had the most incredible truffle vinagrette and the potatoes - small, neat circles fanned into a tight wheel - were crispy and delicious.

As I said above, this mirrored our lunch at Perry Street last year with inexcusable service (far worse than this brunch) but absolutely delicious food. Perhaps JG needs a better FOH service manager?

Anyway, if we were to return, we'd probably try to sit at the bar and remove ourselves from the service element - just order the food. Yum.

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