Commander's for Reveillon
went on monday nite for the Reveillion, $65 per person + $35 wine pairings. as always, i judge on three factors: food, atmosphere, service.
*food* - there are some remarkable items on the menu, and luckily you get a couple teaser-sized portions of them on the 5-course reveillion menu. the most interesting by far is the Foie Gras "Du Monde". this is a savory-sweet appetizer featuring fig sauce-laced foie gras, foie gras beignets, and a shot of foi gras infused chicory coffee. i would like a couple orders of this alone! another memorable item was the Veal course -- several variations of veal including tenderloin, braised, and sweet breads, served atop goat cheese grits.
*atmosphere* - personally, i find the decor of CP's to be dated fluff, a stylized notion of 80s fine dining including mirrored walls and kitchy decorations. not my bag.
*service* - very good. entertaining waiter, attentive water and plate setters, gracious managers. random staff encouraged me to walk thru the open kitchen. neat.
*misses* - the final course & pairing were A COMPLETE DISASTER. im talking bloody trainwreck, here. sort of hard to describe...but its a bulky snowman comprised of 3 stacked "cheesecake truffle" balls, w/ a candy-corn nose, served on a plate of blue syrup (for ice apparently), and a white chocolate martini. this was a very heavy-handed dessert that was more fitting for a gradeschool xmas party. the "cheesecake" wasnt really; very sickly sweet; would be edible in a tiny form factor, not the giant mass of the snowman. the blue syrup was visually disgusting. so much so that we asked for one alternative dessert; our waiter readily obliged -- bringing an ice cream puff.
the martini was also a miss -- instead of being a creamy, yummy white chocolate liquer-based drink, it was a hard-spirited concoction tasting of jet fuel. no chocolate powder or shavings as often found in white choclate martinis. im a vodka man and could not finish it.
odd thing is, our waiter delighted in our rejection of the dessert -- in fact he pressed us to say it was not very good, as if to confirm his own personal suspicions. which is odd to me -- if the waitstaff is openly mocking a course in an expensive meal, it begs the question: Why the hell is it there?? for me, it soured the experience.
ill contact CP. while i enjoyed aspects of the meal very much and will express this, our city's dining reputation simply cannot afford to accept such peculiar decisions. (CP has a wonderful bread pudding souffle, i dont know why they wouldnt just stick to that)
in short -- will go back for certain items (many other items on the menu sounded great), but would not recommend the reveillion.
well after a couple of weeks, ive gotten some satisfaction from CP on this.
at first when i wrote them, the maitre'd responded by thanking me for the feedback, and saying they had yanked the final course due to its sub-standard quality. she mentioned than a cutting-edge place like CP needs room to experiment..but they recognized it was a failure. and that was it.
so then i said i can appreciate experimentation (the Foie Gras Du Monde is amazing!!), but that i shouldnt have to pay for a failed experiment -- i asked for a refund or credit for 1/5th the fixed price for each of us. this came to a paltry $40 total.
at this point the maitre'd said this was an unusual request, they would have to contact the owner, etc.. i said that seemed really odd to me, that most restaurants are happy to "make it right", but OK.
im still awaiting the refund or credit. i would happily spend it there again on a known hit. dunno what the complications are, but hopefully they will straighten it out soon...
I'm really shocked at your request to be refunded 1/5th of each of your dinners. I would think that something like that should not be requested after the fact. While you were there you voiced your dissatisfaction with the dessert. The waiter listened and agreed with you and then brought you something else. You didn't say if the substitute was any good or not. If it wasn't, you should've asked to speak to a manager right then and there and voiced your displeasure with the final course and I can assure you in a place like that...some charge would've been removed from your bill or you might've been allowed to order dessert off of the regular menu.
shocked that i would ask an unpleasant experience be fixed? really? never been on a date, an anniversary, or other special occasion and not wanted to ruin the mood by complaining about it in front of your guest? i certainly have. (not everyone wants to deal w/ the stress of complaining in public)
our waiter did bring us a vanilla ice cream puff (blah) to make up for the failed course & pairing. thats and nice and all, but at $100 a person, im afraid that doesnt cut it. if it were not a fixed-price meal id have asked for the offending dishes to be comped -- but again, not in front of my guest on a special nite.
to me, contacting management is neither new nor improper, and i come from a reataurant family. you make things right (period) or somebody else will. and thats the deal w/ high-end dining -- pay a hefty premium for excellence, and if you dont get it seek management to make it right.
not sure why it cant be done w/ a letter. whats your reasoning?