When I decided to write my own blog I knew that I would dedicate at least one day a week to talk about my favourite topic: food! Little did I know that my first posting on the topic would be a negative one. Well, it’s a negative followed by a positive. (I feel the need to add that this is just our opinion. You may have had a different experience at the restaurants below. Perhaps our server at resto #1 was having a bad day. Perhaps we were unlucky. Either way, this is just a recount of our dining experience.)
D and I decided that we would head to Sacré Coeur where we would be able to get a good view of the city without venturing too far from the hotel. I have wonderful food memories of Montmartre. It is where I had my first crêpe au chocolat almost 20 years ago. It stands to reason that I was happy to be back, high on this butte, in Paris. This is where the fond memory ends however.
We walked around for a little while and I pointed out to D where I recalled having this glorious crêpe. Our appetites now whetted, we decided to have dinner at La Bohème. Sure, the entire area is perhaps a tourist trap but we figured that food is food and we’re in Paris so even sub-par would still be good. Oh, we were so wrong.
It went wrong when our server pointed us to a table. We sat and we waited. And waited some more. Finally, she came back and asked “are you having dinner?” I’m not sure why else people venture to a restaurant during the dinner hours but we were there to eat. We both ordered a kir to start and, against our better judgement, we went with the moules frites for our meal.
Our kirs arrived. D looked at me and I looked at him. They looked suspiciously like white wine in wine glasses. No pink. Not a hint of cassis. When D pointed this out to our server her first response was, “et alors?” which made D look at her as if to say “are you kidding me?” She then said “maybe it’s kir à la peche“. Uh, no. I guess she felt that we weren’t going to accept that so she said she would have them fix it. D pointed out that we hadn’t touched them to which she replied “they’ll just add cassis to it anyway”. Huh?
When the glasses came back, and indeed the white wine glasses came back, they were the palest kirs ever.
The mussels also showed up with the fries. I’ve never heard of mussels cooking so quickly in my life. I’ve cooked mussels before and I was wary of these tiny little suckers. I was right to be wary. The sauce in which they were cooked was non-existent and they were barely warmer than room temperature. Hmm, these definitely were not cooked to order.
We left. (D isn’t very patient about poor service.)
We went back down the hill and found a tiny resto that serves all sorts of pizza. We started afresh and ordered kirs to start. Oh, redemption is so good and so were the kirs. For our entrée we both ordered a salad with goat cheese on toast. For my plat I ordered a pizza margherita while D ordered a pizza napoletana. The fact that the menus were chock full of spelling errors didn’t dissuade us. We were not disappointed. Our kirs arrived, in flutes as is customary, with spicy olives. The rest of the meal and the service were to my expectation. (I wish I could share the name of this little pizza place but I didn’t check. I do know how to go back so I just do that today.)
I don’t ask for gourmet food if the establishment is not a 3-star Michelin restaurant. I do, however, expect good service regardless of the establishment. In my opinion, La Bohème provided neither. Am I asking for too much?