Summerlicious Review - Matignon (kinda long)
I checked out Matignon, partly because I was interested in the booking the place for a large gathering and partly because I had heard some good things about restaurant (good, but not great).
When I first got there, the decor was nothing spectacular if not dated. Not that I particularly care, because I was there for the food, but I was looking for some kind of "wow factor" for the gathering.
Anyway, we were seated upstairs right away, and I got the impression that they wanted us to order and get out ASAP, because the waiter came by less than a minute after we sat down and asked us what we were going to order from the menu. We took a little while to choose (much to the dismay of the waiter) I selected the gazpacho, the pork tenderloin w\ mustard sauce and the dark chocolate cake. My friend ordered the caesar salad, Steak frites, and the strawberry/apricot mousse cake.
My fears that they were rushing us were soon confirmed as not less than 5 minutes after they took our order and delivered a basket of bread, our starters arrived. The gazpacho was ok (in my experience it is kind of hard to screw up gazpacho) nothing spectacular, but my friends salad looked like a bunch of cut up leaves with a few croutons and drenched in Caesar dressing. She even said that it was not that good, fairly lack lustre.
Again, no sooner had our plates been cleared than the entrees arrived. First off, my friends steak looked (to me at least) grey and from what she told me, it was pretty tasteless, regardless of the wilted shallots or onions that they heaped on top. The frites (which I tried from her plate) we both agreed were very good.
As for my entree, well my mother always said "if you don't have anything nice to say, than you shouldn't say anything". But then that would be doing a diservice to the rest of you. In a word, it was awful, in two words, REALLY awful. The pork was almost ice cold and pretty dry. The mustard sauce, should have just been called sauce, because it was absolutely tasteless and bland. The vegetables for the sides were ok, but nothing to write home about, and the surprise of the plate was that the tomato half , which had some parmesan sprinkled over top, was actually hotter than the meat...which I couldn't figure out. My friend told me to send the plate back, but I pointed out, they were rushing us. As a result, I felt that I just want to get the heck out there myself, so let's just get it over with.
Dessert was another disaster, both cakes looked like they came fresh out of the Sara Lee box. The only positive thing I could say about them was that the cake was moist, but again, no real flavour...just like a Sara Lee cake. And in the end, they never asked if we would like to order coffee or tea (I know it was not on the Summerlicious menu, but COME ON!! EVERY place always makes the offer...it's standard!)
And to top it all off, the service (as if you couldn't tell already) was really bad. They were friendly enough when we first got there, but they kept rushing us as soon as we sat down, and when it came time to get the check, they all disappeared. It took longer to get the check than the entire time it took to order and deliver our food.
Overall the entire experience was very disappointing, and I will not be returning. And now, I have to find another place for that gathering.
Oh dear. I wish I could have warned you about Matignon. I had a similar experience when a friend and I went there for Winterlicious. I reckon that they put all the 'licious people upstairs in that little confined space. It really makes you feel like youre on a plane, once upstairs, especially the bathroom! Its right near the fridge, which hums loudly, in the little drinks kitchen!
I actually thought that they were trying to turn around with the Summerlicious menu though, 'coz their Winterlicious menu was not that great. They have much more variety than back in wintertime, but according to you, their level of quality is still quite low. My friend had a lamb shank and I had a mahi mahi main, both were done well. It was warm, but not much flavour, like you say. Appetizers back then werent that wow either, and like your friend's salad, my friend's salad was all ripped up too. But I guess our dessert in the wintertime was better, we had chocolate cake which was quite yummy--best part of the meal.
Yeah, Matignon is just too dated. Their decor is dated, their food is dated, and their service... not the best. And yet, they still have regulars.
You'd think that by creating a really great Summerlicious menu, the chefs would be pleased to see you back. Do you think they just don't bother because they figure you're only there to sample a prix fixe menu? I've tried a few over the years and I find it lacklustre in most of Toronto's "best" restaurants. That's truly disappointing.