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Jan 30, 2007 07:45 AM

Bistro Zinc - not what is was

I have often defended Bistro Zinc from criticisms I felt were unjust or not focused. I have often enjoyed drinks and dinner there and the young and often inexperienced wait staff have never quite made the evening a loss. Sunday evening this changed. With a guest my wife and I dined there and I felt negative vibes from the start. I don't like to be "sold" on some special water rather than being presented with perfectly suitable tap water - cold and promptly poured. The simple cocktails were long in the prep and the gimlet was on the rocks for no apparent reason - a march across to the bar corrected that but a mood was being established.Our guest ordered a "flat-iron pot au feu" which sounded strange at any rate but resulted in a piece of boiled meat in a thin broth accompanied by a few vegatables. The meat was tough enough to render it unable to be cut. The maitre d' offered a replacement which is always an inconvenient "solution" as the rest of the diners are now out of sync with the poor soul with a problem entre. She opted instead for a credit for the unacceptable presentation and to give credit where credit is due, they did not charge for the dish. My wife ordered a salad and appetizer as an alternative to an entre and it was served without described ingredients. I lucked out in a sense - the duck leg confit was good and flavorful as I had hoped. But one out of three doesn't make for a great experience. Further the time wait for all the parts of the meal to be served was painful. The wine was slow in arriving (being requested to be served in advance) and the delay between courses was annoying as well. In all service was the worst I have had in the several years we have gone there. I suggested to the maitre d' that having adequate staff on hand was something to be aimed for and a shrug was all the response given. I am afraid it will be a loooong span before we return if ever.

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    1. Excellent question, stuart! It's in Lenox, MA.
      I've been very pleased the few times I've been there.

      1. feelinpeckish, I had a similar experience this summer when taking friends to dinner at Zinc.
        The fish had was not good quality, the strip sirloin was not as tender as it had been, and the entire experience felt overpriced and unsatisfying.
        I think the last chef was a better cook, and the food quality is not what it was.
        Too bad. I used to love eating there.

        1. Thanks for the update. I poked in there recently and turned away. Bad vibe - but couldn't put my finger on it.

          I instead went to Rouge in W Stockwell, which was an excellent time.

          1. That's too bad....once in a while while golfing in the Berkshires, we'd splurge and stop in.
            I hope this is a phase only...