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balthazar disappointing

People say Balthazar has the best brunch in NYC. I found it very disappointing. First, the waiter was unfriendly. The bread basket was not great. I've had better bread. The waffles with the fruit was not that good. Where is the fresh fruit? I ordered the special which was a crepe with egg and cheese. It was dry and tastless. The wait staff was not on the ball. We had to ask for more coffee several times. Nothing we ordered tasted amazing..nothing.

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  1. Did you order the bread basket (with dinner service type bread) or the La Painier (with the sticky bun, chocolate bread, brioche) etc?

    I personally love the waffles. It's the sour cream that makes it for me.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      We ordered the sticky bun type basket. Then we asked for the French bread to have with our cheese platter which was better bread.

      1. re: novicenyc

        Ah. I don't usually get the regular bread there but I love the chocolate bread, brioche, and fruit focaccia that comes with the le panier. I think there's often some sort of nut bread in there also that is only OK.

    2. Totally agree. Keep trying it and keep getting dissapointed. Just not what it used to be !!!!

      1. This goes with one of my theories, when you go to a restaurant and have high expectations, and everything is not great, you are more dissappointed than if you went with no expectations at all.

        1. I've only gone for lunch, and haven't been truly disappointed yet. Only one meal I didn't care for, the pork chops. Everything else has been consistent. Maybe at brunch they put greenish staff on. I'm going again later this week. I'll report back.

          2 Replies
          1. re: michele cindy

            Not sure if it's still the case, but my ex was a waiter there about 10 years ago. He had lots of experience at some of the best restaurants in Boston, but when he started at Balthazar, he had to wait breakfast and brunch and he had to get there at an ungodly hour.

            1. re: michele cindy

              Lunch was fine. Service was good, but not as attentive as I've had in the past. I ordered the salmon. I never had it before, but now that I am "watching" so I tried it rather the the usual steak frites. It was as nice as a salmon could be. Light sauce of green onions, artichokes, the fish was very fresh, and had a good crisp salty crust on top. I ordered my usual Pavlova for dessert, it was fine too. I don't go there expecting things to be over the top but I do expect them to be good and enjoyable, which everything was.

            2. i agree, i met some friends there for a 'going away' brunch 2 weeks ago..first of all they couldnt sit us all together even though we had a reservation, so 2 of us ended up at a seperate table on the opposite end of the restaurant...basically defeating the point of the whole excursion. i had also ordered the special, crepe..which was decent...but nothing to write home about.
              i think the atmosphere is pleasant, but ive had much better food at spring street natural, right down the street...!

              1. We were up early on a Sunday last weekend and decided to finally give Balthazar a try as we guessed we could avoid any lining up. Despite the sparsely populated dining room the grumpy front desk ladies still had us wait a few minutes (for appearances sake??). We ordered, were served water and then waited, and waited, and waited. Finally coffee arrived. Then we waited, and waited until one of the staff dropped a check on our table...for the order of food we had never recieved! Needless to say we got up and walked out. No plans to return.

                1. Sounds about right, sadly.
                  I've never thought Balthazar deserved it's rep, but the bakery used to be top notch, and I've found that to be on the decline as well..