so how is matignon anyways?
- jennjen18 Feb 1, 2006 06:20 AM
I'm going to Matignon Restaurant tonight for Winterlicious. Am very excited, but would still like to hear what fellow Chows think of this resto. I've tried researching them, but didn't find much. So what do you think??
So I went there on Wednesday night for Winterlicious--it was a farewell for a friend, so it was a kind of special event we were celebrating. But you know what, I didn't like it that much. It was quite pretentious, IMHO. Yes, the name is French, they speak French, and the decor is French, but other than that, I just don't understand what's so special about them.
Okay, the food. Most important is the food 'coz you're there for the food, right? Hence, a restaurant. Yes, the style is French, therefore, I would assume that their sauces are going to rock me out of the world. I had the mixed greens, filet of mahi mahi with a kind of creamy sauce, and chocolate cake. My friend had cream of vegetable soup, lamb shank in sauce provençale, and chocolate cake as well. I gotta say, I've never tasted fish thats got no taste at all. Fish or any kind of seafood is distinctive as its got that fishy taste, but this, I could have been eating tofu, and it wouldnt have made any difference except for its texture. And the sauce? Yes, French cuisine is famous for their sauces. Oh, the sauce was nice, but very little was offered on the plate! It was kind of important since my fish had no taste at all, more sauce pleaes! As for my friend's entree--lamb shank in sauce provençale--it was better. The sauce in that was tastier than that of the fish's (perhaps because of the nature of the meat), and the lamb was braised until it was very soft and falling-off-the-bone. Lamb was much better.
And who cuts carrots longwise anyway? Its hard to eat, to scoop up with rice.
Chocolate cake was yummy though. It was chocolate mousse cake, to be exact (but our garçon didnt tell us that). It was a nice ending to my not-so-impressed meal.
The place itself, well, I'm not too digging that either. We were lead up a flight of stairs to a small, dim litted room. At first it was quite nice, quite quiet, but afterwards, I just thought it was weird. Maybe it was too quiet, and the constant humming of the appliances in their small kitchen on the upstairs floor that made the upper level more akin to a plane cabin. The layout of the upper floor was probably copied from a plane, 'coz the washrooms are located just beside the kitchen, and you know how on planes, once you get out of a washroom, you'd see a kitchen since its so crammed for space. Its got that same kind of feel.
Service--not bad. We gave a generous tip. I can tell the garçon was busy, but compared to other experiences, he's not bad. However, he asked us if we would like coffee in a way to lead us think that the after-meal beverage was also included in the Winterlicious deal, although it was not written in. But I assumed so as well because there are always things that are not written in Winterlicious menus, such as bread and other appetizers. So he jokes at us to say that tea is $5, and we say, har har, and we dont question about it. But when we see the bill, it's $2/tea! Kay, when did tea bags cost $2 each?
All in all, I didnt like Matignon that much. I tried it, and that was enough for me.
I really enjoyed it there. I've had Steak, Pasta, Salmon, and most of the appetizers on the menu. No fancy presentations but excellent food. I am not a fan of pasta usually in a restaurant, but I think it was grilled tiger shrimp spaghettini that I had, and it was fantastic! So flavourful. All steak cooked just the way you want it. Decent service.
Worst service of my life.
We had booked our table in for Summerlicious well over a week in advance. Granted, we were a large group, but that did not in any way excuse the way we were treated. The waiter very rudely interrupted our conversations at the beginning of the evening, demanding that we order, even though some of our party was still poring over the menu. When a friend of ours and his partner arrived late (again, granted we were into the second course of our meal by the time they arrived, but his plane had been delayed), they were greeted by the waiter ignoring them, sighing exasperatedly when they asked for a menu, throwing it down on the table in front of them, and telling them that he needed the table in a half an hour, and that it was a three course meal, so they would not be able to eat. My friend took it in stride, asking if he could sit with us until we were done our meal and then move to another table, to which the waiter again sighed exasperatedly and agreed. After a short time, and our dessert, the waiter informed us that the table that was coming in after us had cancelled, so we could stick around a bit longer. My friend then attempted to order, but since his partner was not hungry, he simply wanted one meal. After YET ANOTHER exasperated sigh, the waiter walked out. About 5 minutes later, the owner /maitre 'd came up to our table and informed my friend that he was not able to order only one meal between the two of them, and if they shared, they would be charged for 2. My friend then asked if he could get the regular menu instead of the Summerlicious menu, to which he was told no. After an incredibly rude exchange, we decided that enough was enough, and decided to go elsewhere. The owner told us that it would be better if we never returned, and belittled all of us, who had been patient, excellent customers up to that point, in front of the entire dining room. Adding insult to injury, they charged us a 16% gratuity after taxes.
The food was, in my opinion, quite good. The smoked trout was excellent, the pork tenderloin was a bit overcooked, but served with an excellent blueberry sauce, and the cherry clafoutis was well prepared and a suiting way to end a simple meal. Other people found their meals good, but the people that ordered the steak were a bit disappointed in how tough it was, but I guess that's to be expected with a flank steak. It's too bad that the service left such a sour taste in my mouth. I will NEVER return, and would recommend others to avoid this establishment at all costs.
I goto the matigon frequently, my grandmother loves the place. We have never had a bad meal or service there, so I guess I am lucky. I do avoid it now at summerlicious/winterlicious since they overbook themselves for the event. It would not be in my top 10 places but it is still enjoyable.
I went for Summerlicious 2 weeks ago, our group had a reservation for 13 people that at the last minute expanded to 14. They were very friendly and accomodating, even when 2 people showed up late (the rest of us were having appetizers). Our large group had a bit of everything on the 'licious menu and I was quite impressed with my choice of smoked trout, veal and cherry clafouti.
I'm quite surprised to hear of the bad experiences others have had there. For such a large group with everyone doing the 'licious menu and sharing house wine, having a last minute addition, late people and for a Sat night dinner - I'd have expected us to have been severely trying the staff's patience but yet they & the owner were gracious, accomodating and friendly.