Paris, ATELIER MAITRE ALBERT review
I had dinner last Friday at Atelier Maitre Albert, the Guy Savoy restaurant in the 5th with my wife and 2 kids. I made the reservation using their web site and it couldn't have been easier. When we walked in, they asked us if we wanted smoking or non-smoking, and we happily went to the non-smoking room. The service was a bit crazed. It was as if the regular staff called in sick and the assistant manager ended up covering the whole room (6 or 7 tables plus a bar -- way too much for one person). The food was really nice. We started with the pumkin and mussel soup, which I really liked. Our kids liked their taste of the soup so much (they weren't hungry enough for starters and a main), they decided they wanted it too (sans musseles). My wife had the foie gras, which was good thought not exceptional. For mains we had the duck special, the beef, and the chicken. Their food is all grilled and they know what they are doing. The potatoes that came with the steak were especially delicious. We skipped desert, opting to go looking for a crepe on the street to finish off the meal.
The only complaint I have was when the person sitting next to me started to smoke. I asked the server if the entire room was non-smking, he told me yes and asked the smoker to stop. The smoker did, but spent the rest of the meal complaining how his rights had been trampled and what a travesty it was not being allowed to smoke. But he didn't light up again. I understand that a non-smoking law will be passed shortly and by February France will joing Ireland and Italy with non-smoking restaurants.
We enjoyed our dinner there as well. The place is quite modern (although they kept the old fireplace) and I found some of the art strange (pictures of chickens in red and green if I recall correctly). I decided I would prefer eating in the bar on a return visit. I too experienced some service problems. Just doesn't seem to have that well-oiled machine thing down yet even though they've been in business a while now.
I went there last week for lunch. The service was great although it would have been extra special if my glass was filled. Had the salmon to start, the chicken and ended with the chocolate fondant. The chicken (though famous there), is not that great. The meat was actually dry and I thnk I would have much prefered the fish tail. The starter was excellent thogh