Today the story about a restaurant is not so happy but with a sweet ending.
I made reservations at Le Pré Verre after my friend Fabrice recommended it for a good lunch formula. I read about it and found out it’s a Japanese chef making French-Japanese fusion food and every day have a different menu for lunch entrée+plat+wine glass+coffee in 14 euro. Sounds good and we went there six people.
What happened is that me, Fabrice and his friend came just in time, 14:00. We sat at our table waiting for the rest of the group who were a bit late. Few minutes later, the chef came out of the kitchen, telling us rudely that the kitchen is closing and we have to order right now and that we have to order the lunch formula, it’s not possible to order à la carte any more. It was just 14:15 but already impossible to order the regular menu? The couple sitting next to us got their à la carte menu because they sat down two minutes before us? Why no one mentioned it when I had reservations for 14:00?? Then we were pressured to order at that very moment even though one friend didn’t show up yet, so we ordered 6 lunch formulas. Anyway this is what we planned to get. The formula that day was a cucumber salad with sesame vinaigrette and for main course fillet of mackerel with tabule and sauce vierge.
The main course was a big shock to me. This is what we got:
Everyone, being so hungry, just started eating it, but I was staring at the plate not knowing what the hell just happened. Where is the mackerel? Tabule? What the fuck is this dish!?!?!? I then called the waiter and asked him if this is a mackerel with tabule and sauce vierge like it says on the board, and he said, of course not, it’s chicken and mashed potatoes. And he left. I kept staring at my plate in shock. After two minutes called the waiter again and asked what happened, he answered that they were out of mackerel and that the chef let us know that when we were sat. I claimed that we had no clue and he argued that I’m wrong. I was so shocked but couldn’t do anything because everyone already started eating. So I said that I’m sorry but I’m not eating chicken. The waiter took my plate and while everyone finished their chicken like good children I was very disappointed and as well Fabrice said he never got a dish that lame in this restaurant, and maybe it is the kids menu dish. When the waiter was back I had enough confidence with my French to tell him exactly what I think about the trick they pulled on us. I said something about the dish being a cafeteria dish and children food and that the mash potato is made from powder!!! (big insult in the culinary world). I said I am very unhappy and no one had let us know that in advance. It’s outrageous!! He just kept saying that they don’t have more mackerel. Few Minutes later I got this dish instead of the chicken (obviously they thought I’m a vegetarian)
I was myself hungry so I ate my eggplant, it was nice, the sauce was good… But I was very disappointed. It’s very obvious they treated us in a bad manner, maybe because we were speaking English they thought something like this can just fly by us? Maybe they were angry about reserving a table so late? Not sure. When we finished we left without ordering dessert, went upstairs to try to speak to the other waitress who was nice in the beginning when we sat down. I explained to her what happened and how this meal is embarrassing me in front of my friends and embarrassing Fabrice in front of me because he recommended this place to me. Turns out there was a change in the chefs, the Japanese chef doesn’t work there anymore and the manager is in vacation, not sure I understood exactly but she was very sorry to hear we were not happy and offered to make it up to me next time I come. I said I’m not planning to come back after that. She insisted I should and refunded the cost of one formula. We left and went to get dessert someplace else.
Just around the corner in the boulevard Saint-Garmain we found a nice new ice-cream place called Raimo. This place is unusual in Paris ice-cream scene because they give tastings (even without asking), yes, in most places they are reluctant to do so. They’re making some interesting ice-creams as well. It was hard for me to choose. I tasted strawberries sorbet and lemon-mint sorbet that was served in a small ball in plastic cups for all to try.
At least a very sweet ending!