What is the WORST meal experience you've had in DC?
Mine would have to be during my first month here an absolutely disgusting sushi meal and vegetable tempura (I know - hard to f up) at Wok N Roll... also the worst glass of house wine I've ever tried. There's nothing worse than old sushi - IMO. Disgusting!!
I know -- the name should have scared me away. But I used to live in NY and the Wok N Roll there was actually pretty decent for the price!
I was going to say Sushi Kaz which would have been our worst meal in DC, we were pretty much just ignored, it's on other posts...
But the worst meal ever in the DC metro area is at Bistro Europa which was so gross, I couldn't eat it even, and I was trying. The appetizer of calamari was from a bag and had soggy breading, the entree was just inedible in all ways, I ate a bite and then pushed the food around my plate. I think we went home and ate whatever was left in the fridge. And it wasn't cheap. It was so bad even thinking about the experience makes me sick.
Mine definitely came on my last (and final) trip to Les Halles. I have to admit that I used to love a Monday night there with a hanger steak, frites, and a half price bottle of wine - even if I had to put up with shotty service.
My most recent venture was highlighted by an elusive waiter whom we saw TWICE (once to take our order and once to flambé the crepe suzette - busboys took the drink orders upon our inquisition, brought the food out, asked if we wanted dessert, and delivered the bill). The food was cold and remarkably untasty when it arrived - the salad too salty to consume, and the fries unmistakably very old and scary looking.
The best part of the evening came when my chair collapsed mid-bite rendering me embarrassed, shocked, and ass over teacups sitting on the floor. The aforementioned waiter was MIA, and the busboys had to replace my chair and apologize for the inconvenience.
The icing on the cake, however, was when I checked my OpenTable account to find that I was a “No Show” at Les Halles that evening. What a classy establishment!
Les Halles was second on my list for worst experience!
We went there this time last year and my friend said she wanted a glass of white wine, the snotty waitress recommended something standard (sav blanc or chardonnay - I forget) so my friend said sure -- turns out it was a 16 dollar glass of wine!! It was very sneaky to pull that move, when we assumed it was the house white. We got in a fight with her and the manager didn't take it off the bill - but I think he ended up knocking off three dollars or something. Also - the food was extremely sub par. I don't even remember what I had.
from my october '07 post about the infamous les halles:
their fries stink -- literally and figuratively! mr. alka and i ate there yesterday, and the fries they brought were lukewarm and had been cooked in old oil. yuck. then when they brought new fries, i think they were the same fries, but just heated up in the same cruddy oil!
go there to sit outside and drink Chimay ale. Don't bother with the moules, either. The amount we got yesterday (dinner portion) was not even HALF the size it was last year.
And the service! we had to wait for a while for the two servers to stop their personal chatting before they noticed us. no, wait, the one facing out SAW us, but didn't bother telling the other waiter that we came in. just kept on chatting, having a good ole time. mind you, there was only one other couple on the patio when we arrived.
i am totally disgusted with what has happened to les halles. will be a while before i go back. (oh, and their wine by the glass (on the specials sheet in the menu) was $18.)
i took home the leftover fries (i.e., all of them) for the birds. they would not eat them. nor the squirrels. nor the opossums nor the raccoons. now if raccoons won't eat them......
It's good to see I'm not the only one who thinks Les Halles is so terrible. I had wanted to go since I'm such a fan of Anthony Bourdain (although I know he was the chef at the NY Les Halle, not DC), and I figured it would be a great experience. My husband and I went with a couple of friends, one of which had been to Les Halle and just LOVED it. The service wasn't bad - it was a Thursday night and there weren't a lot of other diners - but the food was horrible. I had French onion soup to start, but it was very greasy. I then had the Croque Messieur, which was also very greasy, the bread soggy, and the ham quite salty.
I also have to mention my recent birthday lunch at Restaurant Eve in Alexandria. The service left a lot to be desired - it took a good 20 minutes for our soup to come out, she didn't leave our bottle of water on the table and we had to ask her to refill our glasses, she didn't offer salt or pepper (we had to request it), and when asked what the "Eve's Blend" coffee tasted like, she got a deer-in-headlights look and couldn't really explain it (I maybe a coffee snob, but I expect any restaurant that serves their own blend of coffee to educate their servers on the basic flavor profile of that coffee). The whole staff also seemed more concerned with replacing and ironing the table linens than serving us (there weren't that many diners - it was a Monday afternoon, post-lunch rush). I also have to mention the very strange hostess when we first arrived - she had no expression to her face! She looked like she'd just had botox and acted like a zombie!
The food was mediocre - the soup lacked seasoning, and my husband's steak was overcooked. Unfortunately, he complained after he'd eaten the whole thing (we had been there long enough and he didn't want to wait even longer for them to cook another steak); but the manager started going on about how their steak is "grass-fed" and has a different flavor, which really riled my husband up ("I've had grass-fed steak and I know the difference - this was overcooked!" he said). Fortunately, we were comped for the steak, although I could tell the manager wasn't happy about it. As many excellent reviews that we read about Restaurant Eve, this was a huge disappointment, especially since I chose this place to have my birthday lunch.
I had a really bad experience at Notti Bianche with my boyfriend. It was Restaurant Week but I really don't think our experience had much to do with that. It had more to do with the fish dish I ordered that I probably should have sent back, but didn't know better. I'm fairly certain it was way past its due since fish should NOT smell like that. I poked at it, ate very little and was put off that type of fish for a very long time. A few days later when I thought more about it and was certain the fish had gone bad, I was just pissed that a chef would EVER send that out to a customer and that no one in the kitchen noticed its smell considering the 2 ladies at the table next to us certainly noticed it along with me and my bf. It was so disappointing considering Notti Bianche was touted by Tom Sietsema and lots of others at the time. We found the ambiance bizarre and the food not even worth the price for RW. The service was good though and there were some decent dishes. But I have yet to return.
But even worst was my experience at i Ricchi. Our service was TERRIBLE! I was around 24 at the time of dining there with 2 friends and our waitress treated us like pions. I tried my best to let her know that I know food and had eaten at some of the best restaurants in DC (as much as you can show that without seeming obnoxious) but it was clear the minute she saw us she thought "Young kids not spending money....screw them." They practically rushed us out the door. They were rather unaccomidating and a little rude to 1 dining companion who had a few food allergies. The risotto was delicious but everything else put such a sour taste in my mouth I will never return.
On top of all that, the pizza oven seemed to back fire or something, sending waves of smoke into the dining room. They set up a few fans, which made matters worst, especially for the poor folks that had to sit right next to the fans. I have yet to ever hear of a happy customer coming out of i Ricchi. I can't imagine why they are still open. Seems like the perfect spot for the 24 hour New York-style deli I keep dreaming about opening in Dupont :)