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Good food--bad attitude [Tournesol]

v
virben Apr 23, 2010 09:30 PM

Went with a large party of friends to celebrate a birthday. Had been to Tournesol several times before and enjoyed the dining experience. But on this visit, the server/ manager must have been having an off night. He was disdainful, condescending and generally ungracious. I understand this is very French--however I am not inclined to want to go back to a place where customers encounter a whole lot of attitude. Too bad really because the food is tasty, beautifully presented, and reasonably priced.

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Tournesol
50-12 Vernon Blvd, Queens, NY 11101

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  1. g
    Glendale is hungry RE: virben Apr 24, 2010 04:52 AM

    Hi virben,

    That's a bummer. I really like La Tournesol as well and have always been struck by how nice all of the staff is.

    I hope it was just somebody having a bad night as you described. Hate to see this place turn all cold and snooty! Where else would I have that amazing creme brulee?

    Ciao,

    Glendale is hungry...

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    Tournesol
    50-12 Vernon Blvd, Queens, NY 11101

    1. j
      jesuki1 RE: virben Apr 25, 2010 10:34 AM

      Virben - have you agree with you here. I used to visit Tournesol 3 years ago before I moved to LIC, and I started getting a lot of attitude and haven't been back since.

      There are way too many other options in Queens. Cafe Henri around the corner is a great alternative. Food is consistent, interior is pretty spacious (Tournesol was always cramped), and the staff are lovely.

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      Tournesol
      50-12 Vernon Blvd, Queens, NY 11101

      4 Replies
      1. re: jesuki1
        y
        yussdov RE: jesuki1 Apr 25, 2010 11:32 AM

        we stopped going to tournesol about 3 years ago when the vibe and the food started to deteriorate noticeably. we were really bummed, but c'est la vie.

        1. re: yussdov
          g
          Glendale is hungry RE: yussdov Apr 26, 2010 07:09 AM

          Hi yussdov,

          I admit I haven't been to La Tournesol for about six months. But, I HAVE been there in the past three years and, to be honest, I have absolutely no idea what either you or jesuki1 are talking about with regard to attitude.

          It's quite possible that the snooty attitude virben experienced is a relatively new (and MOST unwelcome) occurrence but if either you or jesuki1 haven't been there for three years, it doesn't make sense to pile on the dirt now.

          Otherwise, I might as well trash Cafe Henri, where I had a way below-average meal a few months after it opened. That wouldn't be fair to Cafe Henri, which I have been hearing good things about lately.

          Therefore, it's unfair to jump on the bandwagon and complain about something that happened at La Tournesol three years ago. In the last three years, I've been to La Tournesol numerous times and never had any snootiness issues with the staff.

          Have any other Chowhounders had attitude problems at La Tournesol in the last three years? Is this a pervasive problem there? Please chime in yes or no. I'm very curious. Thanks!

          Ciao,

          Glendale is hungry...

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          Tournesol
          50-12 Vernon Blvd, Queens, NY 11101

          1. re: Glendale is hungry
            y
            yussdov RE: Glendale is hungry Apr 26, 2010 08:10 AM

            hi gih,

            i appreciate your point, although i'd suggest that i'm not exactly piling on nor am i jumping on the bandwagon. all i was saying is that after many years of going quite regularly, we stopped patronizing the place about 2 1/2 years ago when we found, after numerous visits, that the food wasn't quite as good as it previously and consistently had been. also, we noticed an appreciable change in the staff attitude. to us, the staff seemed more brusque, more rushed, less gracious, less patient, less enthused to see/serve us. and we weren't looking for any special treatment. we were just looking for the same vibe that we'd become accustomed to enjoying.

            so, my point, which i think is a fair one, is that i too noticed an appreciable downward shift in the quality of food/service starting a few years ago. i wasn't stating that it's that way now. but it was that way then and it prompted us to stop going. and if you look back in the archives, you'll notice that at that time there were numerous comments about this problem. therefore, i do not think that sharing my opinion about this problem is unfair. it was my experience and it was somewhat widely held and the op's comments made me wonder if perhaps it was still a problem. ergo, my comment seemed appropriate to the discussion.

            chowhound pages are filled with comments to the effect of "i used to go there but don't anymore because...." to characterize such comments as unfair simply because they weren't generated by a very recent visit is to suggest that we restrict all opinions by a time limitation. this, to me, would be unfair.

            and as to your comparison with cafe henri, i believe the analogy is inexact. the op wasn't waxing poetic about tournesol, only to be contradicted by my old experience. the op was disappointed with his/her experience and i was affirming that experience.

            i get that you still dig tournesol. so say that. tell us why. but please don't suggest that we're unfairly besmirching the good name a of restaurant in some feeding frenzy of groupthink. we're just relating our experience and opinion.

            1. re: yussdov
              g
              Glendale is hungry RE: yussdov Apr 26, 2010 08:37 AM

              Hi yussdov,

              I stand by what I wrote. I've been to La Tournesol at least five times in the last three years and have not experienced snooty staff nor any decline in the quality of food.

              By your own words, you have been there ZERO times in the last three years.

              I have been to Cafe Henri ZERO times since I first went (more than three years ago). While I can, of course, tell about my experience there at that time, it really holds no validity since 1) it was so long ago and 2) there have been a number of opinions stating the opposite as of late (not only on this board, to be fair).

              But let's live in the now and hear from other Chowhounders on this matter and what their recent experiences have been at La Tournesol.

              Ciao,

              Glendale is hungry...

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              Tournesol
              50-12 Vernon Blvd, Queens, NY 11101

      2. p
        Pookipichu RE: virben Apr 29, 2010 11:11 PM

        I was there with my family last night and the staff was very warm, friendly and the service was attentive.

        Perhaps you were there on an off night. I really haven't had a bad experience there. Unfortunately they are taking the Lapin aux pruneau off the menu but the braised duck that is replacing it is extremely flavorful and tender.

        The only off-note was a slightly over-bruleed creme brulee.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Pookipichu
          m
          MarcInSunnysideGardens RE: Pookipichu May 14, 2010 10:04 AM

          Glendale, there is no "La" in front of the restaurant's name.
          I've found the waitstaff to vary between adequate and fantastic. Some of them are quite recent French imports and the lesser ones seem to just be getting their legs under them. There's also a really nice guy who acts as maitre d and occasionally waits tables.
          Completely disagree about the food being in decline. On a good night it approaches great and at its worst it's still arguably the best restaurant in LIC. If you like French bistro food.
          I've been there approximately 100 times, and about 5 times this year.

          1. re: MarcInSunnysideGardens
            k
            kayemtee RE: MarcInSunnysideGardens May 16, 2010 05:31 PM

            I go once every two or three months. I have found the service to be adaquate but no more than that. It was better in the distant past (two plus years ago?) . That said, I have not found any diminishment in the quality of the food. It's still very good.

        2. t
          tabs RE: virben May 22, 2010 09:15 PM

          Tournesol has been around for a very long time in this neighborhood. And they have stood the test of time beautifully. Sorry about the rudeness you experienced but not sure that's what chowhound is about.

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          Tournesol
          50-12 Vernon Blvd, Queens, NY 11101

          1 Reply
          1. re: tabs
            s
            Stuartmc910 RE: tabs May 23, 2010 07:19 AM

            My wife and I dine at Tournesol often and have never had a bad meal or bad, or ungracious service. Our only rub is the closeness of the tables (actually sometimes it 's the diners who are ungracious!). My only complaint is that some, not all, of the servers have some bad B.O.. (Haven't the French ever heard of soap?)

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            Tournesol
            50-12 Vernon Blvd, Queens, NY 11101

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