Disaster at Area
Having eaten here at least two dozen times in the last year, I have always considered this the best restaurant in Montreal. However, last Saturday was a disaster. The waitress was surly. She never explianed the specials. It took over 90 minutes to get our main courses, with no explanation. We were never offered drinks and had to ask for bread. When we complained to the manager, they denied anything was wrong. They said the wait was typical. Then the waitress kept walking by giving us dirty looks. Finally, they brough our change in a finger bowl full of some fluid. SOMETHING HAS GONE TERRIBLY WRONG AT AREA. AVOID!!!
When you are paying the kind of money that you must pay at Area, hit and miss is no more acceptable than the kitchen was having a bad night. It has to be always good if it is to stay in business. I have had very good meals at Area but I am not fond of the group approach to serving a table. I believe the personal level of service that you can only achieve by having the same waiter do all of the serving is necessary in this level of restaurant.
We were there the exact same night. (By the way, the restaurant was fairly empty at 8:30/9:00, where were you sitting? A 12-top arrived around 10pm; could that have affected your service?)
In any event, we found -- on the exact same night -- that the food was wonderful, and very reasonably priced. Didn't find much fault with the service, and in fact noted that the many different waitstaff who waited on us (sort of a "group" approach) coordinated fairly nicely. We did have to wait a touch too long for bread, but not enough that I would complain.
I guess the moral of the story is that some things are just hit-and-miss. On a personal note, I would ask that people NOT "avoid AREA at all costs", but be respectfully and reasonably critical. We enjoyed them immensely and hope they remain. (And since it seemed quiet that night, we were a little worried...)