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Feb 4, 2000 09:02 AM


  • c

I ate at Lucien frequently during the summer and went back last night for the first time in several months. The food was delicious as always BUT ....the waiter literally yanked away our appetizer plates as we were taking our last bites and plunked down our entrees. We had ordered an expensive bottle of wine and were half way through it when the check was slammed on the table. Needless to say, we didn't feel very welcome....

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  1. m
    Martha Gehan

    I had a similar unpleasant experience recently at Balthazar. I have to say in all fairness that I have been there many times and to other K. McNally ventures past and present (see my Pastis comments further on) and this is the first poor treatment or even attitude that I have ever come up against. In our case, we were eating in the bar on a very busy night (it was the week between Christmas and New Year's). We were sitting at one of those small square tables that are right inside the door and had pulled up a teeny marble-topped cafe table that was pushed over in the corner so that three of us could sit together. We were hardly dallying and were also all drinking champagne at $16 a glass. I remember that the total tab was $145. I had arrived a little after my friends so they had already ordered when I got there. But it wasn't like we stretched out a couple of salads over two hours. One member of the party left soon after I ordered because she had another engagement. WHILE I was eating my dinner and my friend was drinking her cappucino the (totally clueless) hostess came over and asked if we would like to "finish" (remember, I was still eating) at the teeny marble table. No, I replied we would not. It is no exaggeration that I would have had to put my plate on my lap if we had moved to this table! Yeah, we declined to move, but it is a question that never should have been asked. I said as much to the maitre d' on the way out and was rewarded with a blank stare. I realize that restaurants need to turn tables to make money but it's inexcusable to try to give the bum's rush to someone who is still eating, or lingering over their coffee for that matter. Your experience at Lucien would make me never want to return. And there's other, nicer ways to get people to hurry up. One night in Pastis a beleagured maitre d' who was obviously desperate for a table asked after we had finished if he could buy us a drink at the bar. You catch more flies with honey....