Blue Velvet, Somewhat Disappointing
So after the positive reviews from my friends, I took it upon myself to gather a few friends together and check it out. Granted it is a fairly new place and needs time to work out the kinks, but I have to say that some of the things that happened during our experience was unfortunate.
We made reservations for 6 and started out by being in the bar. First off, I have to say that the design and vibe of the place is great. Hostess was extremely friendly and the bartender was great. So we were all happy to start out the night with some cocktails, looking forward to a great dinner. When seated, we were guided to a gorgeous table, illuminated by tons of candles and somewhat private from the main dining area. Nice way to set the tone.
It took about 10 minutes for anyone other than the busboy to acknowledge us. Finally a cocktail server came by and took our drink order which took another 10 minutes to arrive to our table. Finally the waiter greeted us and started to explain the specials. In the middle of his presentation, a manager rudely interupted him and told us that he needs him for a minute. We were all taken aback, as the manager should had been courteous enough to wait until he was done. Again, we waited another 10 minutes to have the waiter come back and take our order. We had asked for bread since one of our friends was extremely hungry and kindly asked for something to sustain him. The manager then came back to our table and rudely informed us that this was not their general policy to serve bread, but he supposes that he will accomodate us. Again, we could not believe the attitude. The waiter was obviously very green, but nice so we tolerated the manager having a moment.
Finally after another 30 minutes our appetizers arrived to the table. The fondue salad was quite good, the lobster cassoulet was extremely salty and we had to down a glass of water with each bite. Hamachi was good, but way overpriced for (2) extremely small pieces of fish. I do not even think that it was an ounce worth of fish. Foie gras was cold and undercooked. But we realize that the chef is probably still working out the kinks and is getting the swing of his staff. Not to mention they seemed to have a private party and were a little understaffed to begin with.
Now comes the entrees. One of our friends ordered the venison. Again was salty and tough. We had the fish special - Sea Bass with a Green Garlic Sauce and Micro Greens. That was not bad. Our other friend had the filet, and said it was not warm. Nothing is worse than getting a warm piece of filet mignon for dinner. It was clear that our waiter was stretched out so we could not even find someone to resolve the situation. Plus it was almost midnight and everyone was starving at that point.
The best part was the chocolate roulade for dessert. Finally when the bill came we saw that they had also charged us $5.00 for 6 pieces of very thinly sliced baguette that they gave to us as a bread order.
We all typically try to be as understanding as possible when trying out new places. Perhaps going on a Saturday night was not the best idea. But when you're paying over $100.00 per person for food and drink, it's a little hard to swallow no matter what.
I think that the place has a nice concept, but they definitely need to work out the kinks. I'm sure the daily candy posting is slamming them with business, but they need to be a little more prepared. I will wait at least 3-4 months before returning for dinner. But I'm sure I will be back very soon for a cocktail. I suggest to anyone go there early on a slow weeknight to ensure good food and service.
to be scolded for asking and then charged for bread is obscene. especially by the manager - i mean, get real, you're in a service business. it's like do you want my business or not? i really wanted to go here - maybe i'll just go for a drink and app. so i can see the space.
i have eaten there twice and drank there several times. the first time i had the venison and it was amazing. the second time i had a fish dish and it was mediocre. both times the service was slightly below par. however, the bar is always great service and vibe. i plan to go back because it is in my neighborhood. but i will probably eat in the bar.
If the manager is an owner and not the manager, he needs to hire someone to deal with customers better. If he's the manager and not an owner, he should be fired. This story is appalling. However, you are extremely even-handed with your review; I commend you for that. And knowing that there could be so many other forces at play, especially the fact that it's new, maybe understaffed for the night, etc.
But $5 for bread. Man, would I have laid into them.
I ate there Saturday for the first time. The food was ambitious and, for the most part, excellent; I had the lobster cassoulet and mine wasn't oversalted. But the real problem to me was the service; our waitress didn't seem to know much about the specials and mispronounced words (she mentioned "squib" stuffed with leg meat and liver; did she mean squid or squab?) and disappeared for long periods of time. The wine list by the glass exists only in the servers' memories, and hers was faulty. IMHO, the waitresses were hired to look cool in their miniskirts and not because they had any experience. Serious food and serious prices require serious service. Blue Velvet needs to clean up its act. And charging for bread is a big insult to the customer.
It's definitely a bummer. But we were so tired that we did not have the energy to contest the bill. It's definitely more service than food being an issue. I always frequent a place a few times prior to giving my final opinion. But when it comes to rude service, it's hard to excuse. Hopefully they will get their act together - since I think the space is great. I guess time will tell.