Neva Cuisine in Paris, what a disappointment!
We dined at this restaurant on September 6th, and what a disappointment it’s!
Wine: we ordered a Chablis Grand Cru, Vieilles Vignes which would have been very good had it not been lukewarm! After several unsuccessful attempts to get our waiter to put ice cubes in the wine cooler, we had to “raise it a notch” to finally get enough ice cubes from another waiter. By then, half a bottle had been wasted! It is rather surprising how a restaurant like this one could not have a sufficient number of chilled white wine bottles and then failed to take appropriate action and be so miserly with ice cubes!
First course: girolles, et tartare de daurade were good although the aioli (actually an emulsion with cream and garlic)which they hurriedly brought out a few minutes later, to go with the soupe de girolles so we were told, was too garlicky, and yet we like garlic. Presentation was very nice though.
Main dish: croustillant de ris de veau (add another 5 Euros) and John Dory.
Both dishes were way over cooked, and hence, too dry. The quality was there, but there’s an obvious lack of savoir-faire or care in cooking it. What a waste. The worst café in our neighbourhood would have done a better job. Even I could have cooked it better! I asked if it’s the Chef who cooked the ris de veau and the fish and was told it’s her second! From my seat I had a full view of the bar, entrance and part of the kitchen. The Chef was mostly busy standing in front of a board, with a black pen, crossing out dishes as they were brought out. She went out once, to a specific table. Probably to greet the regular patrons.
I counted 37 guests from the time we arrived, 20h45 to the time we left at about 22h15. There’re 2 waiters who seemed a bit distracted, but very available to those they know! The table to our left, a young Bristish couple,walk-in customers, was left waiting for a good 20 minutes before some one took their order, another 15 minutes before they got their drinks and a good 20 minutes before some one came to clear out their first course! On the other hand the couple sitting to our right were regulars and every thing went swiftly for them!
We intended to try their signature desert but were so disappointed with the whole thing we decided to skip it and left, on a negative note. Went there because of positive reviews on this forum and others. Perhaps we were just the “unlucky” ones!
As for us, we really could not see what all the fuss was about! Wish we had picked out a different restaurant!
re: John Talbott
I read your blog re:restaurants in Florence before we went there two years ago.
Thanks to you, we discovered, and greatly enjoyed Acqua Colta. Went there twice during our one-week stay, and are still talking about it. I am glad I have the chance to say Thank You! Hope you read this reply.
We had no problems with either food or service at Neva, but by the same token found no compelling reason to return or recommend. For us, it fell into that category of safe but not special places some visitors and/or business people find useful because of location and general civility.
re: John Talbott
mea culpa, for the name of Acquacotta where both the service and the food were veryu very good!
It's not worth the trek across town! Now, we need some very good ones to make up for that disaster!
Went to the neighbourhood Indian restaurant the next evening, and La Villa Corse at the Porte Maillot two days later (a la carte only). Wonderful service and very good food at both.
re: John Talbott
"As someone who loves the place and the chefs...."
I find it very distracting when I have formed a bond with a chef. I always have to question my evaluations, asking myself if I would award the same values to an unknown venue, or given the same slack in instances when a dish or meal was less than expected. Or when your smiling friend appears and asks how it was and you'd really rather not say. Also, inexplainably, we've had some of our worst meals either with or as friends of the house.