Bistro Twenty-two, Calgary - horrible
Hello all, I've lurked here quite a bit, but had to create an account in order to make sure that no one else has such a bad experience as I did with this restaurant.
Bistro Twenty-two is where Mortal Coil used to be in Mission. It looked nice and we'd been turned away from Wildwood, so we decided to give it a try.
To start - service was very slow and not particularly friendly. We were left a long time without having our orders taken and then a long wait for the food.
My appetizer was "Moules et frites." The mussels were okay, but the sauce they were in was too strong for them. The fries were horrible. For $15 I was expecting homemade. These were indistinguishable from McDonald's. I didn't eat more than two of them. When the waiter asked if there was something wrong when clearing the plates (no one had checked on how we liked the appetizers), I expressed my disapointment with the fries and was told "that's odd, everyone loves our fries." Oh I see, it's my fault.
Onto the mains. I had ordered a lighter main, a wild mushroom-rosemary crepe, since my appetizer was substantial (or would have been if the terrible fries had been edible). The description did mention that this dish had two kinds of cheese. Now I do like cheese, but I was not expecting a plate entirely covered with melted cheese. I could not taste the mushrooms or the crepe or rosemary or anything but cheese. It was like East Side Marios food, I am serious.
And again, no one checked to see how we liked the meal. No one refilled the water. Our wine glasses were empty for a long time without being asked if we wanted more, and were not taken away when we declined.
When we were finally asked how the meal was, I explained that the food had not been to the quality I expected in a fine dining restaurant and that the service had not been very good either. Again I was told "that's very unusual, no one ever complains about our food. I guess we can't please everyone." There was no offer to take anything off the bill or to provide a free dessert.
I really did not appreciate being told, basically, that I must be the problem because everyone else likes the food. I eat out in nice restaurants in Calgary all the time and I've never been treated like that. The food was no better than you'd get at a place like Earl's or Moxy's, the service worse, and this was a $100-plus meal (for two people).
I've never felt motivated to go diss a restaurant online before, but I really don't want anyone else to waste their time and money at this place.
Thats funny you should mention this becasue I have been there several times, with friends in the food industry from around the world. I would say I have been there about 6 times and always been a great experience, Its too bad you had this experience, its kind of similiar to the dining experience I had at the Living Room, I ordered the halibut with a smoked tomato ragout, the waitress and the kitchen were unaware if it was Pacific or Atlantic, we order white wine which was off. We told the waitress it was off and she giggled but did not bring another bottle, food came, one of the worst entrees I have ever had, hard to describe how such a basic dish like this could be ruined. Then there was the bartender, he was at the bar with his friends while they we doing shooters with an extremely loud and anoyyind drunk women whose every third or forth word was #$%@ or *^@!*. But hey thats what friends are for. If this is the norm there, I fail to see how someone could claim this is a good restaurant. For me to complain to the manager is useless, I let the server decide how to handle things, how he/she handles a challenge will be reflected on her gratuity,
"There was no offer to take anything off the bill or to provide a free dessert."
If they had, would you still have been upset? I've only been there twice, both times when they first opened a couple years ago. I thought it was OK but evidently not enough to become a regular there. I have issues with price vs quality at places I go to as well (although $100 for 2 is not really expensive anymore in Calgary), but if you ate everything and complained about it afterwards I think their reaction would be justified. If I really have issues about something I just sit there and don't eat it, even the worst server will notice and ask.
If you didn't eat it and they didn't take it off the bill I'd be pissed too.
Actually, Casta said: "I didn't eat more than two of them. When the waiter asked if there was something wrong when clearing the plates (no one had checked on how we liked the appetizers), I expressed my disapointment with the fries and was told 'that's odd, everyone loves our fries.'"
From my perspective, if they never come to check on the food, it's a 50/50 shot whether you should eat it, or wait it out to complain. If you wait and wait and wait, you could end up with a cold plate of stuff you didnt like to begin with, because they never bothered to do anything about it (i've had that happen. Once, they even took it away, brought me something else, and charged me for both, because it wasnt their fault i didnt like the food they brought). When the service is bad enough that they don't bother checking at all (and 2210 is small, it's not like the server would've had a 25 top section to maintain), nothing might come of waiting either. So you just soldier on and eat it. And when they bother to pay attention, you say something. I've done the same thing.
As for the offer or the dessert, a gesture is often enough to signify that the establishment actually *cares* what one of their patrons thinks. And maybe they are interested in having some repeat business. I'll go back to someplace that makes an effort, because im much more likely to have a better experience the second time. I won't go back to someplace that takes my business for granted.
As an aside, I have to admit, from my own personal perspective, im often disappointed with the treatment many new posters get on this board. I've seen so much suspicion and negativity, especially when someone new posts about a negative experience. Granted, it's not the best way to introduce yourself to a community, but i know there are a lot of lurkers out there, and i feel they are sources of great information. But with how badly we treat a lot of first time posters, im not surprised more don't step up to post. Just something to think about...i think it's something we all could do better. Because really, this board is about exchanging information and opinions. We can only throw the same opinions out there for a period of time before it becomes stale. And there are no wrong opinions. Just different ones. Celebrate diversity.
Thanks yen. You have it exactly right. I did not eat the fries. I ate about half of the main and didn't finish it. No one asked how either was until the plates were being cleared.
So yes, I would have felt better if there had been some offer to make it up to me in some way, because I think what bothered me most was being told that everyone else likes the food - as if I am the problem. It was like they took absolutely no responsibility for the fact that I did not enjoy the food.
I do have positive opinions too but I think my favourite places have been well discussed on this board. I like the Living Room, Divino, Catch, tried Jaro Blue and had a lovely meal there, and I like a whole bunch of the cheap Vietnamese places.
Well, I'd love to hear anything you have to add on the Vietnamese front, as we're still combing the city for great, out of the way places! Would like to hear more about Jaro Blue as well - as far as i know, only John and one other person has been there for dinner (it's in another thread - don't exactly remember who).
Anyway, look forward to everything you have to contribute - as caseygirl puts it, "all opinions". Positive or negative.