Don't Go to Laperouse!!
It's listed as one of the most romantic places in the
most romantic city, so what better place to celebrate
Valentine's Day than Lapérouse? What we got was one
of the worst restaurant experiences we ever had. The
problems were so bad and so numerous that it was
comical and we were laughing out loud and rolling our
eyes with our fellow diners by the end of the evening.
I'll start from the beginning. We sit and wait for 20
minutes before anyone takes our aperitif order.
Another 20 minutes go by before the waiter asks if we
have chosen between the pre-set Valentine's menu with
or without the wine pairings. Another 20 minutes pass
until the amuse bouche arrives.
Ten p.m. comes and goes and we finally get our first
course of lobster. This is where we stop being
tolerant and discreetly talk to the waiter!
They begin to serve us more quickly, but they can't
get the wine poured correctly. We note that it is a
universal problem. The wine selections that came with
the pre-set menu should be on the table before serving
the food. Instead, the wine was served when we were
almost done with each course. Had we waited, the food
would have gotten cold.
While deep into our veal dish, the waiter finally
remembers the Cotes Rotie and brings over the glasses.
Too bad they were still dirty. My husband is furious
and says, "Ce verre a toujours le vin du dernier
client!" I hold up my glass with lipstick marks on it.
Dessert comes and goes without a hitch, and then we
order coffee and tea. We wait 20 minutes and the
waiter arrives with my husband's espresso. He
realizes he's forgotten my tea, so he takes the
espresso away and says that he'll bring the drinks
back at the same time.
Ten more minutes go by and the main waiter comes by
and says, "Je propose un café or thé" or "May I offer
you a coffee or tea?" We say, "Nous avons commandé
deja" or "We already ordered." The waiter then
sheepishly asks, "Il y a long temps?" or "Was it a
while ago?" We simultaneously and slowly respond,
But the fun continued. While we were waiting for the
check the first time, they brought out the petit
fours. Petit fours come with or after the dessert and
before the coffee and certainly not while you're
waiting for the check!!
The head waiter actually made the effort to apologize
and blamed the problem on the young staff, a different
menu format, and a crowded Thursday night. He
neglected to mention his own snafus. He also asked if
it was our first time dining there. My husband told
him that we live in Paris, that it was our first time
there and that we would never return. He offered us
some expensive cognac, we asked for the check again
and got it 20 minutes later.
I'm also sorry to hear that - we had a very good meal there and the romance quotient was so high... As I always mention, it's been awhile & I'm ever on the lookout for more recent reviews. I 100% agree with souphie, though, about avoiding all restaurants on big holidays. You mentioned other couples - were you not in your own private room? I think that's a huge part of the thrill at LP - where else can you do that?
I don't think it's fair to judge a restaurant or slam it so hard after one experience on a major holiday, but still am sorry for your experience on Valentine's Day!
re: torta basilica
Luckily, we have lived in Paris for two years and have the great fortune to go out every Friday night and for the major holidays. We had never experienced what we had that night. Thank goodness that Laperouse was not our only fine dining experience in this city. I feel bad for the other couples who were on vacation and chose the restaurant. But you are right about the holidays though. Maybe next year, we'll go the following week. But it's hard to turn down dinner when your husband has made all the arrangements and even booked the babysitter!
Sorry to hear that. I actually never want to Lapérouse so I am without opinion on the restaurant. But I can tell you this: in France, restaurant for holidays is a bad idea. Maybe it is because good restaurants try to make great food everyday, but I don't think I heard a single report or had a single experience of a restaurant that is not worse on Valentine day, christmas, NY eve, father's or mother's day, etc. What does happen on holidays however is that restaurants are overly booked and overly priced. In France holidays are much better held at home.