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Nov 7, 2011 05:29 AM

Bistrot La Minette

Went here with my spouse for a birthday dinner Saturday night. Beautiful space with French Bitro feel, molding on walls and celing, hanging copper pots at enterance to open kitchen. Loved the decor.

Food was very good but not great. Service was okay.

They brought us cheese puffs to start which were lukewarm and tasted like they were defrosted from the frozen section of a grocery store. The bread was good but came with overly salted butter. Maybe that's the French style but was a bit potent. Starters were a big improvement. My spouse had mussels with a tasty cream sauce. She said they were the best mussels she ever had. I enjoyed the squash soup but thought the dollop of cream on top was too large and overwhelmed the soup when it melted. I loved the rabbit with homemade pasta and gravy though it was a tad too salty. Spouse liked her salmon special which was pan cooked. Can' t remember vegetables with it.
I loved chocolate pudding which was rich but not too rich and really creamy. Spouse had a beautiful looking spounge cake that wasn't her ideal choice.

Server made a point of telling us his favorites for each course without our asking. He did this for neighboring table as well. My spouse thought it was just part of his style. I felt like he was trying to push items that weren't selling as well. He didn't give a reason why he liked the items like "the sauce really brings out the flavor of the fish...". He just said "my favorite is x..." He also tried to rush us. The entrees appeared the minute the appetizers were removed and he arrived with the dessert menus the second the entrees disappeared. He didn't ask if we wanted dessert, just assumed we did. When I asked for more time to decide after he reappeared a minute after leaving the dessert menus, he seemed surprised. We had to call him back, like he was offended we didn't answer the first time. My wife asked for a scoop of vanilla ice cream with her cake which they brought and then charged us for a second dessert. I understand adding a few dollars for the ice cream (though in a nice restaurant like this they could have just given it too us as I've experienced in other places), but thought the complete dessert charge was excessive. I didn't complain about it as I didn't want to disrupt meal. The server also dropped the check on the table without our asking for it. There was no one waiting for table. We were in and out in about 90 minutes and according to computer by front door there was at least 30 minute until next reservation arrived for our table.

Overall, beautiful location, really good food, so-so service. Spent about $150 for the two of us including one glass of wine each and the three desserts.

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  1. Haughty, know-it-all wait staff are always a turn-off, especially when trying to push things that chef may have over-prepped. And the unsolicited check drop is tantamount to saying, "Beat it." What if you had wanted a cordial or second coffee? Very unprofessional. IMHO, such service is far from okay. Thanks for the heads up.

    1. We were also unpleasantly surprised by the lackluster service. Our first waitress rolled her eyes when I told her I am gluten free. Another waiter saw and came over to apologize.
      Also, the bartender confided that he wasn't a spirits drinker. Not really a drinker at all. Why would you have someone tend bar who doesn't know anything about spirits?

      1 Reply
      1. re: isadorasmama

        The lack of service then the eye rolling insult would have had me on my way. A non-spirit drinker would be a very desirable bartender; if he know his craft, sort of a fox guarding the hen house thing reversed. i also would suppose if one is very professional they could know more from the study of drinks than from the drinking. Have known some extremely good BTs who only drank beer.

      2. Sorry to hear this about Bistro La Minette. We have been there a few times and always had a very positive experience. Was there a ball game on in the back while you were there?
        It's hard to picture this happening. I remember enjoying everything, including the bread and butter.
        Maybe you should let the owner know about your complaints. No on wants the serving staff to keep people away.

        2 Replies
        1. re: sylviag

          No ballgame on. They had a private party but our waiter wasn't involved and it had no visible impact on service.

          I live out of town so my complaints probably wouldn't carry much weight.

          1. re: spike74

            Ball game on? You mean there is a TV going? Doesn't that mean it is rather dark in there with a large bar area?
            How many tables does it serve?

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. I am sorry to hear about this as well. I had a poor experience with service the first time I went to Bistrot La Minette but it was early on and it was wonderful after that. I haven't been in a bit (8 mons maybe?) and I am hoping this isn't a common situation (although the two experiences described would keep me away if it happened to me)

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bigley9

              Take heart, La Minette fans. We were there last week. Food was excellent. Service was professional -- solicitous but not intrusive. We didn't order dessert or coffee, but lingered over the last of our wine, and did not feel rushed in the least.