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Dec 14, 2006 07:21 PM

Almost had a meal at Bonne Soiree - Chapel Hill

Hi here. Glad to have found the site.

My husband's birthday is this Friday and I thought we'd try out the newish Bonne Soiree after hearing good things about it. I called and left a message on Tuesday morning requesting a reservation around 6:45 (but saying that I was flexible on time) for two people knowing that it was short notice, but thinking I'd try anyway. I received a return call at 2:45 that afternoon. The conversation ensued as follows:

Bonne Soiree: Hello Anne, I'm calling you about request for Friday night reservations. We don't have anything available at 6:45, only 6:15 or 5:45, everything later is booked.
Me: Uh, well *thinking about the timing and pausing for 1/2 second*
Bonne Soiree: 6:15 is quite early and dinner will be 2 hours, can you make it that early?
Me: uh, well, I thin-
Bonne Soiree: I think it is too early and you should choose another night.
Me: *stunned* Uh, okay.
Bonne Soiree: Goodbye.

If I had been prepared for that response and had my wits about me, I think I would have mentioned that in fact, I could make the time slot available, but I was so disappointed and surprised by the conversation that I was stunned into silence. Anyone have any idea if that is the atmosphere the owners are fostering, or did I just get a call from a rude hostess?

Anne in NC

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  1. It's difficult to tell how they swing without having been there myself. However, many small restaurants like these tend to like to organize bookings in a series of "seatings," like one seating at 6:45 and another at 8, for example. It allows for better coordination of the flights of courses for the kitchen staff (as opposed to larger restaurant operations that have more flexibility). That said, they should convey such things more explicitly if that's the case. Why mention earlier times just to then pull the rug out from underneath you?

    I intend on dining there at some point before the end of the year and will report back on my sense of the "lay of the land." It seems that not many chowhounds have actually been there as of yet.

    1. My husband and I have dined at this restaurant and had the most wonderful of experiences. The owners are also the primary people running the show. Tina is the host of the entire restaurant and her husband is the chief. Tina is the one who does all of the wine parings for each person dining and she is the one taking reservations. You can imagine with all of that to do, she may be short and off-putting on the phone but entirely out of habit and not with any malice. She is actually extremely friendly and accommodating which may have been why she attempted to satisfy your request and read your pausing as uncertainty.

      I would suggest trying again as it has been a few years since you've posted this comment. My husband and I ate there last month and plan to eat there again tomorrow evening.

      The food and atmosphere are absolutely to die for. I would recommend giving it another chance.

      2 Replies
      1. re: HappieFoodie

        wow seriously, digging up a three-year-old thread from when the restaurant first opened when there have been literally a dozen threads since extolling their virtues? I'm almost embarrassed about this considering I myself have sung their praises ever since as my favorite restaurant in the area. Many chowhounders have since agreed.

        see here for my original review:

        1. re: HappieFoodie

          Not sure why you dug up a three year old post, as mike pointed out. There are tons of posts raving about Bonne Soiree, so I'm not sure I see the point to dredging this one up. Yes, any resto can have an off night, and apparently this isn't a trend that has continued at this establishment, since they're still in business and get excellent feedback on sites such as this.