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Nov 6, 2007 10:55 AM

Disappointing Clio experience

Meant to post this a while ago, but never got around to it - sorry for the delay! About a month ago, a friend of ours was visiting from London and wanted to go to Clio because he had heard so much about it. This guy's a serious foodie - he once went to every three-star Michelin restaurant in the world. Having been to Clio once before, my husband and I were excited to go again because our first experience was fantastic - great service, incredible food - well worth the price.

I'm sorry to say that we were seriously disappointed this time around. In general, the food was adequate, but not nearly up to the standards or prices of Clio. We found some dishes - like the salmon - underseasoned and poorly executed. While others - like the sea urchin/lobster cassoulet presented beautifully but not practically. In that last case, the difficulty of getting all the dish components out to meld the flavors made it a bit disappointing.

I personally had the merlusa (hake) and found the fish itself a bit bland. My husband's duck would have been amazing - had it not been cold.

Worse than everything was the poor service. We had a very nice young waiter who clearly hadn't been a waiter for very long. He seemed confused and forgetful, often required flagging down for drink refills, dessert orders and check requests. There was a line of waiters in the back who seemed unwilling or unable to help each other out. The courses were slow in coming out, with much time between each.

All in all - after the fantastic experience we had the first time we came to Clio, we came out wondering if we should ever return. Has anyone else had this experience recently, or was this just an off night?

My friend, who is an amateur food critic, posted a full review of each dish and our whole experience here if you're interested:

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  1. Very interesting, and thanks for the link. The more I read about Clio, the less I want to go. You're not the first to be disappointed there; maybe others will chime in.

    3 Replies
    1. re: pollystyrene

      Clio does not seem to invest as much time, attention, purpose in the service area as some of the other top-tier restaurants in town. Seem to coast on the food/chef reputation and look upon service as a secondary consideration.

      1. re: terrycatch

        I've never had anything other than top-notch service at Clio.

        1. re: terrycatch

          I think I am going to agree with this statement. We had a great experience at Clio recently, but if I had to pick an area that fell a tad short, it would be service from waitstaff. I think the bartending is excellent, though, so I wouldn't say it's true for service overall. In our case, it may have even been a server whose personality just rubbed us the wrong way (she was a bit hurried with us).

      2. reading your friend's reviews was most interesting. thank you for the link.

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. Dined here last here last year (November?) and was disappointed as well. II had really been looking forward to the meal. Although I must admit that the service was good, the food did not "wow" me, as I had expected. Had a much better experience a few months later at Uni.

            1. Have you tried politely forwarding your concerns to the manager? In August we went, and while we had perfect service and delicious food, there was a misunderstanding in our wine order which left us shocked and disappointed (we were charged much, much, more for wine than we thought we had indicated we could pay). They *could not* have been more concerned or more solicitous when I sent a note a few days later. Their response was truly professional and gracious and the next time I have money burning a hole in my pocket, I will go back.

              But I think the key is to politely voice your concerns. I certainly got the impression they cared and welcomed the feedback.