at the behest of the moules frites thread, a friend and i went to vol de nuit (148 w. 4th street) at about 8:00 pm last friday.
the selection of beer: great.
the moules: awful. the mussels themselves werent so bad sweet, not sandy. the preparation, however, was awful! ive never had mussels so greasy they sat in a bowl of thick oily butter broth, and as a result were slimy, and simply (and grossly) greasy. also, a good third of the mussels were unopened thus, inedible.
the frites: good. a proper mix of soft and crunchy fries in a simple paper cone.
the sauces for the frites: the two we chose were a "bourbon" sauce which was undeniably honey mustard salad dressing (although our waiter claimed that he wasn't the person to talk to about the sauces...), and a thick grainy mustard which was good, although it is hard to do anything wrong to mustard scooped from a jar.
the service: pretty bad. before i arrived, my friend waited for fifteen minutes at the table, with the menu the waiter gave to him when he said that he would "be right bace to take the drink order." he never came back. my friend went to bar to order own drink. once i arrived we asked for water. the waiter disappeared. we looked for someone else to ask for water, there seemed to be no one not even the bartender in sight. finally, our waiter returned from the street, carrying a bottle of soda it seemed that he had run out for a drink himself. we asked him again for water. time passed, nothing was brought. no one to complain to. finally, we received water (after the missing waiter ambled by again). similar situation when we asked for napkins (which we needed desperately since the mussels were so greasy).
this experience really was a shame as vol de nuit seems to be a good concept. good beer selection and decent atmosphere could make it a great destination for drinks and a good light meal/snack. if only the food was edible!