Restaurants & Bars

St. Gabe's

StephenB | Jul 6, 2004 10:07 PM

The last place on my Montreal eating odyssey was L'Auberge Le Saint-Gabriel. Some of the sophisticates on this board had referred to it as a tourist trap, but my vulgar American sensibility let me believe that the food was spectacular.

In fact, it was. 16 of us dined there on Sunday night, and the meal, especially the venison, was beyond reproach. The difficulty arose at the end when I was presented with the bill. It was for $500 more than I had agreed to pay. Before I signed our group up for L'Auberge, I asked for an overall price, including tips, taxes and everything else. I received the price from the sales manager. I told her that it was expensive but I would accept it. I specifically said to her, "I don't want any surprises."

But there was an H-bomb of a surprise when I got the bill. The staff said that was because we drank more than the agreement called for. I said I had never been notified that the price would be changed. They said that if I didn't pay it they would have to pay it out of their own pockets.

Boo hoo. That was a bit too pathetic, even for a big-hearted American. I said I had agreed to a certain price. That was how much I had. And that was how much I would pay. If there was going to be a change, it should have been negotiated, not sprung on me.

After some angry words, the bill was revised to conform with our agreement.

Despite the fact that the food was good, very good, I would not go back to L'Auberge Le Saint-Gabriel. I don't know if this incident qualfies as "tourist trap," but I do wish I had listened to your advice. The incident put an unpleasant cast on the experience.

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