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Metro Lafayette

c
Cerise 37 Jul 6, 2007 06:08 PM

Anyone been there yet? I went with a friend for lunch and had an excellent meal. We sat in the courtyard and the ambience was great. So was the service. We split three courses. We started with a spicey Poke Tuna, Mussels in a cream sauce and a classic Caesar Salad. Acme Bread on the side. My friend had an Iced Tea and I had a glass of Sancerre Wine. I was impressed with the comprehensive Wine List. The chef told me that they hope to evenually list 200 wines.

The bill was $51.00

Not sure if the dinner menu is different from lunch or not. Regardless, the Chef knows his stuff.

I think the Hounds would like this new restaurant. It is at the site of the Le Marquis Restaurant of a few years ago in Lafayette.

  1. a
    anli Jul 7, 2007 01:02 PM

    At a recent lunch, 3 of us tried the following: white Tuscan bean soup, Maryland crab cake, fish tartare, Metro burger and steak frites. The menu is exactly the same at lunch and dinner, which according to our server, has led to some criticism from diners. It was a pricey lunch at $75 before tip. While the crab cake was fine, the cucumber salad that accompanied it was one dimensional in flavor. The same for the Tuscan bean soup - oversalted and some of the beans were still hard. The fish tartare was quite good, the freshness shone through. The burger was served on a focaccia roll, which held its shape well and the fries were excellent. The steak was a generous piece, but looked larger than it really was, as it had not been trimmed enough and was a bit gristly. There was no discernible sauce on the steak, thought the menu mentioned porcini butter. This place has only been open a month, but I hope they incorporate some daily specials into the menu, as I would become bored with the menu after a couple of visits. The server told us the desserts are good, so that's what I'd try next time.

    Service was efficient and friendly. The dining room was only half full, but it seemed quite noisy. The entry into the restaurant is kind of odd, and there isn't a name on the restaurant, except for on the door, which is only accessible from the parking lot.

    2 Replies
    1. re: anli
      s
      shastashark Jul 18, 2007 10:20 AM

      we drove by this place once and thought the next time we wanted to eat outside... that was the place. well... last saturday, found a nice spot on the patio. the place looks and feels modern... great if your in the city... but kinda out of place for a suburb like lafayette. I had the japanese salad and sashime appetizer. the salad was good... but for the price... the sashime could use a few more pieces. my date had the Croque Monsieur and said it was good. but the best thing that we had were the fries... hands down! the place is nice, the food was good, and the service was friendly... but I'm not sure this modern restaurant can survive in this town. now I didn't go there at night... but the bar might be the place to check out.

      1. re: shastashark
        w
        Wendy_san Jul 18, 2007 09:46 PM

        Why is a modern restaurant "out of place" in a suburb? I don't live in Lafayette, but my mom lives in Walnut Creek and when I visit we're always looking for something in the general area that is a cut above Petar's! Can't wait to try this place.

    2. shortexact Jul 7, 2007 04:16 PM

      Restaurant website:
      http://metrolafayette.com/

      I wasn't at all familiar with the location, so that I thought perhaps others might not be too:

      -----
      Metro Lafayette
      3524 Mt Diablo Blvd, Lafayette, CA 94549

      1. o
        orca_77 Jul 22, 2007 09:39 AM

        We went To Metro Lafayette last night to celebrate ( 22nd wedding anniversary!) and had a bizarre experience.

        For only being open 6 weeks they already seemed to have a following. We too sat in the courtyard which was very pleasant and filled up as the evening progressed (inside seemed very noisy probably due to the noise bouncing across the hard surfaces all around). The food was well prepared: Mussels in a tomato broth, crab cakes with shredded cucumber, Tuscan Bean soup with whole garbonzo beans, Halibut with fresh corn off the cob, olives and bread. Our drinks, a soft drink and glass of Merlot were fine. If anything the flavors on many of the dishes seemed a bit muted for our taste.

        The bizarre part had to do with the service. Early on it was great. As the evening became busier things fell apart. We ordered two desserts and they never arrived. We finally flagged our wait person who went to advocate for our cause. She came back empty handed after we saw her being turned away from the kitchen area by a person who was later identified to us as the owner. With no hope of getting our desserts any time soon we canceled the order. By the way were were never offered coffee or tea either. Next the owner comes to deliver the bill along with a semi-apology. No explanation, no courtesy discount, no boxed dessert on the way out the door, nothing.

        The only thing we could think of was that either they didn't have the desserts we ordered or they were anxious to turn our table (we were 2 at a 4-person table). We had a reservation and arrived on time so hopefully were planned for. In any case it was a sour ending to a promising evening. We left and went to another eating establishment for dessert. Given the highish price we paid, coupled with our customer service experience, we are unlikely to return there anytime soon.

        2 Replies
        1. re: orca_77
          d
          Dinehound Jul 26, 2007 09:54 AM

          We were excited to finally have an upscale restaurant in our town. Good looks, a great sounding chef were all the ingredients for fine dining....we thought!
          The place looks great. Unless you can snag a table outdoors bring your industrial earplugs! Way, way WAY too loud. A very unpleasant experience indoors. Outdoors space is nice! but forget the techno music blaring on speakers near our table.

          The food was so so at fine dining prices. Appetizers were good, corn soup was bland and cold. Our guests enjoyed the fish, burgers were undercooked, pasta was bland and not substantial a meal.

          Service ( the worst is last). We waited 40 minutes for drinks to arrive, half the order arrived. Other drinks came with the first course. No silverware without asking. Wine came as we were finishing our meals.

          For the price or the meals service needs to be much better. When the cold winds arrive we will not return to dine indoors unless the noise is dealt with.

          I would not recommend the restaurant for the price, quality and service.

          1. re: Dinehound
            s
            sarahran Aug 24, 2007 02:51 PM

            We went to Metro in late July as well-first time..good drinks..we sat outside -it was nice..good apps....however there was almost an hour lag until our entrees came...that is just too long to wait and I don't like a rushed meal, but come on...
            to top that off...we had two families letting their toddlers RUN and YELL around the tree that was literally 2 inches away from our table...now this went on until 10 p.m.....when we complained about the noise level and not having a relaxing meal we were told well.."it's the winebuyers kids"...okay.SO?? So it is appropriate to let toddlers who should be in bed by now to run around yelling next to a couple who is trying to enjoy a meal in peace? I am a mom so I have a lot of tolerance, but I would never even bring my kid here...it's for a night out away from the kids...
            I will give it another shot -but I think their is a common theme here on the service we spent a lot of money on good wine here and basically had romper room next to us the whole night not to mention the hour it took for our entree to arrive.

        2. l
          Lianne Jul 30, 2007 02:09 PM

          Three of us went there for dinner last night and ate on the patio. We all ordered the halibut and agreed it was the best we ever tasted. Cooked simply but to perfection. We also shared a cheese platter and the lemon cheesecake, for desert, both excellent. The only complaint regarding the service was the espresso came before the desert and wasn't hot enough. They gladly replaced it when the desert came so we were fine. When we left it started getting crowded and was really noisy inside. I would not eat there unless I could eat on the patio.

          1. c
            Casual Reviewer Sep 4, 2007 11:45 AM

            I was taken to Metro Lafayette at lunch time for my birthday. First, the entrance to the restaurant is hard to find and feels like you are coming in the back door. You end up passing the side of the bar and then there is a large open area. It was extremely noisy given all the hard surfaces (brown tiles, white walls, wooden tables without cloths, faux stone curved wall, rust colored chairs, etc.) It was unbearably loud but since it was a hot day we had to sit inside. It was hard to speak and it was apparent others were having the same problem as each person had to continue to raise their voices to offset the others in the restaurant doing the same. It was like a bad feedback loop.

            The menu has is rather limited with appetizers, starters and entrees with about 4-5 choices each. Appetizers run from $7 to $15, starters are similar. We decided to get a selection of items (Spicy Tuna Poke, Crabcakes, Thai Salad and Bruschetta). Later we order the Croque Monsieur and a pasta dish with meatballs. The best of all was the Spicy Tuna Poke which was served in a martini glass. Other dishes were so, so, especially given their prices. The crabcakes were tasty, but the strings of cucumber were just bland. The best part of the Thai Salad was the chicken but even that had a few pieces that were slighty "charred" and the rest of the ingredients were again bland. I barely remember the Bruschetta. For the entrees, the pasta dish again was devoid of much taste without sauces, but just long pasta tubes and meatballs and some small pieces of tomato, onion, etc. Finally the Croque Monsier was a piece of bread with ham and cheese melted on it, the rest of the plate was filled with french fries. We actually compared them to McDonald's fries because they were exactly the same dimensions and had a similar taste. We ignored the baby gerkin and red onion that were included.

            Service-wise there were lots of waitstaff moving all about adding to the chaos and noise. If anything I felt they were too attentive constantly taking plates, refilling water/sodas after just a few sips, replacing silverware, etc. I had to laugh when they brought us a whole new set of plates at one point. I dutifully put my dirty plate aside and took the new plate. The waiter cleared the dirty plates and then seeing I had put a dirty fork on the new plate, took the new plate too.

            Overall I see little value to this restaurant. It seems like it is trying to be a trendy place for people to come, but I don't find it an enjoyable experience. The noise is unbearable, the food is mediocre, the menu selection is limited, the prices are high and the staff hovers about constantly, and the restaurant isn't even a pretty, pleasant place to be (if you can find it through the parking lot by going in what seems like the back door). Don't even think of bringing children here because they won't find anything to eat on the limited menu and they will only add to the cacophany. I'm sure the chef and owner are trying to bring a little of San Francisco to the East Bay, but it just all seems too pretentious a place, with very little value. If the food was outstanding, I could be more forgiving, but it lacks taste and excitement. If you do go, get the Spicy Tuna Poke to go and eat it outside. Oh, the desserts were decent too.

            1. c
              culinarian Sep 8, 2007 01:50 PM

              Metro is a nice addition to the modern restaurant scene. It is not perfect, but it has many great features, so I cut them some slack and give it a great rating.
              There is easy parking. There is a great outdoor patio with mulberry trees and nice landscaping. Fog-dodge from Berekeley when you want a warm, al fresco dinner, with many great wines by the glass, and good food from Mark Lussardi (formerly of Pearl).
              The service is not perfect, but the place is huge, and new, so I cut them slack.
              The decor is simple, but really nice, clean and modern. The banquettes are attractive and cushy. There's a fireplace in the back. The bar is a bit akward to negotiate, as there were huge crowds, but it is cozy, hip, and fun.
              Sit on the patio if possible. It is very pleasant and well-designed. I love any kind of spacious outdoor dining setting, and this is quite good.
              The food is a bit too much of a Pearl replay, but it is good and you can navigate nicely with champagne, oysters, Chef Mark is using good sourcing, and seasonal produce, which kicks Metro up a notch from generic Contra Costa eateries.
              As we were seated, my olfactory sense was pleasantly aroused by the saffron broth mussels being enjoyed behind us, and I felt confident to order from this kitchen.
              The server was very friendly and helpful, but a bit fatigued from a busy Friday night and a large section. He brought us tastes of some wines we weren't sure about.
              We had very good oysters, a somewhat "wet" and underpowered caesar, a somewhat under-ripe tomato panzanella, a good, but not rockin' penne, the old standard misoyaki black cod from Pearl, and a good new york steak. The cheese plate was nice, and perfectly ripened
              The place was packed, the weather was good, the evening was enjoyable and festive.
              The servers should have a meeting soon and work out logistics. The owner is sincere, hardworking and accomplished. This is his first solo gig, and I commend him for pulling off a classy, nice designed, capable restaurant, that will only improve with time. I look forward to trying Metro again and again.

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