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Worst experience at a "fancy" restaurant and why?

What is the worst experience you have ever had at a nice restaurant and why?

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  1. I've been fortunate in being able to eat at several Michelin starred restaurants in recent years. I've yet to have a bad experience so I suppose my "worst" experience is that, occasionally, I've found a dish not to my taste.

    I suppose the "worst of the worst" was a two star place where there wasnt a single dish that had a "WOW" factor - all pretty good dishes in themselves but none that you wanted to shout from the rooftops about - and, at that price point, there should be at least one

    10 Replies
    1. re: Harters

      Lucky you. i had a 10-year old girl projectile-vomiting two tales away from ours at French Laundry. Upside was I was not one table away, I suppose.

      1. re: demitasse04

        My bad experience was due to a nearby vomiter too... in my case it was an elderly lady losing her expensive dinner on the floor.
        Probably not the restaurant's fault.

        1. re: demitasse04

          OK, my "bad experience" pales, compared to yours.

          Hunt

          1. re: demitasse04

            Good Gawd, "projectile-vomiting". I hope it wasn't green pea soup a la "The Exorcist".

            1. re: klyeoh

              "projectile vomiting" reminds me of the movie "the Meaning of Life" with Mr. Creosote!

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aczPDG...

              Or the infamous ipecac scene from Family Guy :

              )

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eYSpI...

              1. re: alkonost

                apparently that scene was 1. almost cut and 2. required Terry Jones something like 6 hours of make-up and 3. none of the extras knew he was going to explode.

                1. re: hill food

                  Thanks for the MP trivia, it's hard to imagine they were close to cutting the scene since it's so funny. I'm glad they kept it.

                  1. re: alkonost

                    yeah... gives one a fuzzy feeling.

                    a lot of that one dealt with food and went nowhere.

            2. re: demitasse04

              That would be a nightmare. Vomiting anywhere in a restaurant is bad. The French Laundry is on my bucket list of where I want to go and to have it ruined that way would be devastating. And worse... I'm a sympathy puker. I'd have a hard time not joining in as soon as I heard/saw/smelled it. Just curious how a classy joint like the FL handled the situation. And were you able to finish your meal?

              1. re: Firegoat

                heh, an absence of puking at a place on your 'bucket list' heh heh-heh

          2. I am not just talking solely about the food, also the ambiance, and service.

            1 Reply
            1. re: lovethosebites

              I was slightly peeved about a service issue at the 2* place I mentioned. One of the servers spotted us noting down the menu items and said there was no need as they could email me a copy of the menu. Which we thought was nice. Only it took them ages and then it wasnt the menu from that night - rather the generic one they had on their website.

            2. Where to start? A number of years back we chose to celebrate our anniversary at a highly touted local restaurant whose chef had a fine reputation. I booked over one week in advance for a Tuesday night. We come in and are shown to a tiny two-top in the bar, stuffed right behind the maitre d' stand. Uh, no thanks, we'll wait for a real table.

              The appetizers, including their raved-over specialty, were average at best. The Spouse asked to order off menu and was accommodated. His meal was worthy of the restaurant's reputation. I ordered from the menu and could have done just about as well in a hospital cafeteria. No two items on my plate were the same temperature. The vegetable was not the one listed on the menu (no mention made of substitution), was lukewarm, and lacked any seasoning at all, even salt. The starch was unrecognizable as a food substance, was plopped on the plate in a blob, had a scary color and again no seasoning, and was colder than room temperature. The main course had an inedibly salty sauce fused to the meat, to the point that it couldn't be scraped off. The sauce, of course, was only on one piece of meat. The other was unsauced and unseasoned. At least it was hot.

              The waitress removed my nearly untouched plate and did not ask if there was a problem. During the meal I could find no one to inform that there was a problem. When the waitress came back to take our dessert order I asked if she wanted to know why I didn't eat. Clearly she didn't, but listened anyhow. My meal was removed from the bill without any further apology, explanation, or offer of compensation.

              On the way home we stopped at a fast food drive-thru as I had still not eaten any dinner. Happy anniversary to me.

              In other words, a perfect storm of miserably prepared food and downright poor service beginning with the hostess and ending with the waitstaff and manager. Nice bartender, though.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rockycat

                sounds like you needed a drink after that!

              2. I was taken to dinner at a steakhouse by a friend. This place was known for their raw-bar/salad set up which was located in an alcove off the main dining room. I'm not a huge meat eater, so I opted just to dine on the raw-bar, which looked fantastic. I started off by helping myself to a half dozen raw oysters while my companion had his salad.

                I returned to get salad for my main entree. When I entered the room something caught the corner of my eye, and I sort of froze in denial. I looked behind the bread table and caught a mouse climbing down the table cloth!!

                I returned to the table empty handed with my eyes as big as saucers. My companion immediately asked me what was wrong. I explained about the mouse. He was in disbelief but then tried to console me by saying "mice generally don't like seafood!"

                1 Reply
                1. re: salsailsa

                  "mice don't generally like seafood" -- LOL

                  i guess he was going for the sunflower seeds and not the oysters. or he particularly liked the pumpernickel-rye rolls.

                2. I've been fortunate at nearly every high-end restaurant I've had the pleasure of dining at. However, after explaining my gluten-free requirements to our server (I have celiac so must be extremely careful) at one place, she literally placed her hands firmly on her hips, rolled her eyes and sighed loudly. Her attitude became so deplorable that I had to question whether she actually notified the kitchen (though I had called in advance to explain things to the chef). I discreetly and kindly reminded her prior to our desserts and she loudly said," Look. I've told the chef 200 times. I'm not going to tell him again." She proceeded to walk away. No idea what twigged this animosity. I am not demanding nor am I obnoxious with my restrictions. My concern, of course, is being assured that I am "safe". At this restaurant I became paranoid because I did not have that assurance from the server.

                  We will NOT be returning to that restaurant which is a pity because the food was truly lovely.