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May 6, 2014 11:05 PM

Garde Manger reservations question

I'm trying to book a table for Thursday, June 5th, which falls comfortably within their window of 30 days.

I've visited their website and tried the bookenda system and it clearly shows Thu, 06/05 available for booking. All dates past the 5th are blocked out of the calendar as they exceed the 30 day notice.

However, despite the date showing up as available for booking - it's showing that no times are available. I know this can't be the case, because I set my alarm for yesterday morning when the date first opened up on the calendar (I checked and it was blocked out previously) and I attempted to reserve a table at what would have been roughly 9 AM Montreal time the very morning that this date opened up. Even then I was seeing the same notice that no times were available from the drop-down menu.

I've tried calling the restaurant but they don't answer their phones. Can anyone please give me some advice on what's up with their booking system or how to get a table reserved for the evening of June 5th?

As a precautionary measure, I've gone ahead and reserved the 4th to be safe... but I really don't want to do GM on the 4th as Wednesday night is not ideal for our friends and I have alternate dinner plans for my wife and myself.

If anyone has experienced a similar situation attempting to book a table at Garde Manger and can offer any suggestions, they'd be greatly appreciated. I'd like to know how the heck I can contact the restaurant directly (not answering machine - inbox is full btw!) or switch my res to the 5th through bookenda or elsewhere.


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  1. Isn't that the night before the GP weekend starts? Maybe the restaurant is reserved for a special function?

    You could try tweeting @ Chuck Hughes. Or call Le Bremner, and see if you can leave a message on their answering machine, asking if they could get someone from GM to call you back.

    1 Reply
    1. re: unlaced

      I'm not sure how close it is to GP weekend but I doubt the entire restaurant is booked because the Friday (06/06) just opened up on their calendar and it's also showing "No Time Found" so I can't imagine that Garde Manger is booked for private functions the entire weekend. I suppose I'll try calling Bremner and give the Twitter suggestion a shot as well. One would think that if the restaurant was closed on an otherwise busy weekend night at the height of summer tourism season, there would be some sort of notice posted on their website. Seems kind of inconsiderate to just not acknowledge something like that. I'm hoping it's just a glitch with the site, perhaps their calendar needs to be updated or something. Eitherway, it's pretty frustrating.

    2. So I got a call back from Jessica asking me to call back to confirm a time but the answering machine is full for the second day in a row and nobody is answering the phones. On one of my many attempts, somebody accidentally picked up the receiver to dial an outgoing call and realizing that I was on the line, attempted to hang up several times, ignoring my calls of "hello? hello?" - what a stupid system. They are obviously taking reservations for the dates in question but their website is screwed up and the booking system isn't updated. They don't answer their phones. They have an answering machine that they apparently don't clear. This is a pain in the ass.

      EDIT: Got a call back, got my table!

      All is resolved. End of thread.

      Thanks for the tips.

      9 Replies
      1. re: OliverB

        This type of issue regularly arises at Garde... Indeed, it's why I feel such strong animosity towards the place.

        1. re: Fintastic

          Yeah. But its actually worth the trouble.

          1. re: mrm_ch

            Is it? Even if I had been impressed with the dishes I've sampled at Garde, which is not entirely the case, there are plenty of honest, hardworking restaurant front-of-house teams serving up delicious food. I know I've got something of a vendetta against the place, but in my limited experience with them they've managed to demonstrate a multitude of service faux pas.. Including some things that should not be forgiven.

            1. re: Fintastic

              Welcome to Quebec, where shitty service is the norm.

              1. re: Shattered

                Hooray for sweeping generalisations and tarring everyone in every single industry here with the same brush. Bravo! I guess if you are comparing it to fake friendly US style service where they ask you how everything is every 5 minutes, you are correct, we have crappy service. I will take that any day of the week over some unknown person calling me "sweetie"...

                1. re: jfprieur

                  No, I'm comparing it with the rest of Canada, actually. They don't ask you how it is every 5 minutes, but they don't throw down your food wordlessly, try to mindfuck you with reservations, or, if you're in any bar outside downtown, treat non-regulars like they're invisible, either. They keep the courses moving at the right pace. They refill water glasses. They have menus at hand. Another idiotic stunt is when you're sitting at the bar/counter, clearly watching tv, and they abruptly wordlessly change the channel because it's not what they, the only bartender on duty, wants to watch. When you point out that actually you were watching, they ARGUE with you that it's not that good and what they want to watch is better. That's happened to me at a few places, and it never ceases to amaze me. Just unreal, and completely unthinkable anywhere else.

                  I've lived here 10 years, I grew up in Ottawa and have family from Vancouver to Halifax and several points between, so I'm not imagining things. Service here sucks bigtime, especially outside of tourist areas. Sometimes it's subtle and sometimes being here for long stretches we don't notice it, but lemme tell you, every time I spend a weekend in Ottawa (as I just did), the differences in service are as plain as black and white (& I'm not just talking about bars & restaurants either).

                  1. re: Shattered

                    Must live a blessed life have never had anything like your examples happen to me, especially not reservations (can't remember the last time i had a problem with a reservation, eat out several times a month) or getting a drink at a bar. Have had TVs changed for me no problem at many bars. Never have I been told that something better is on lol.

                    Not saying that it doesn't happen or that there is no room for improvement, but we must hang out in completely different places.

                    I do avoid trendy places like Garde Manger like the plague however, rightly or wrongly. Might have something to do with it.

                    1. re: jfprieur

                      I don't think this relates to Garde, but let's not forget the most spectacular faux pas of them all: servers confronting customers over what they feel is an unfair tip. Maybe there's grounds for politely and quietly mentioning that tips are customary in instances when no tip is given (in case the customer is from elsewhere). But I've seen terrible servers chase customers down the street over small tips (like 13% not 3%) or get in screaming matches when they were given 50 cents after delivering a drink 45 minutes after it was ordered. I never have the guts to leave less than 15%, even following offensive service, but even in places with MUCH lower minimum wages and far more tourists I've not seen this happen.

                    2. re: Shattered

                      the service industry in montreal is absolutely horrendous. try dropping $200-300 on a meal in toronto or in the usa and behold the difference. i am constantly surprised in toronto by the warm greetings i receive when i walk into almost any business.