My girlfriend and I were really looking forward to our dinner at Bouillon Bilk. This is a summary of our experience at Bouillon Bilk.
1. We sat at the table, we were asked whether we wanted an « apéro », we said yes. I asked the girl what Jameson was (I was 90% certain it was Whiskey, but wanted to confirm), she didn’t know. I mean come on, it’s your menu, you should know.
2. While waiting for our apéro, she came to take our order (food: appetizer + main course; wine: bottle). We asked for a recommendation for a bottle that would go well with our meal. She had no clue and said she would come back with suggestions. She came back a couple minutes later and said “I recommend this one or this one” by pointing at 2 different wine bottles in the menu, no explanation whatsoever. Unacceptable. We chose one of the 2.
3. While drinking our apéro, the waiter arrives with the wine bottle, opens it, pours some in my glass to test it. Again, unacceptable. Leave me alone with my apéro. Once I’m done, then come and see me with the wine. But whatever, I tried it, I said it was fine, and then she pours me a big glass of wine and when she’s about to pour my girlfriend a glass, my girlfriend says “no need for now, I would like to finish my drink first”. She walks away.
4. 1 minute later, our appetizers arrive while we are still sipping our apéros. Come on! We were thinking “Is this a joke?”. So we rushed to finished our apéros. Very unpleasant as both our drinks had whiskey (or bourbon) in them.
5. My girlfriend ordered “crabe de la Gaspésie” with mizuna. It was delicious. I ordered vivaneau (sashimi style) with marinated cucumbers. I hated it. The fish was WAY to salty. Plus, the quantity of fish was completely ridiculous, way too little and the pieces were tiny. There were also fruits (strawberries and blueberries) in my plate which I do not approve of. So my first dish was kind of a disaster. My girlfriend's dish was very good though.
6. Once we finished our appetizers, the main course arrived 5 minutes later. Again, unacceptable. Let me digest a little and enjoy some talking time with my girlfriend, thank you.
7. We had ordered the same main course: Pintade (guinea hen) with foie gras poêlé, porcini mushrooms and polenta. It was delicious, although I think the dish would have been a lot better if it had a little bit more sauce.
8. While eating our main course, the waiter came to our table and told us she was leaving because her shift was over and that someone would take care of us. Seriously??? I’ve never seen this happen in a good restaurant, but whatever, I can live with that.
9. Once we were done with our main courses, a desert menu was left on our table and we were asked whether we wanted desert. We politely declined.
10. It was now 9pm (we arrived at 8pm), we had drank an apéro, eaten an appetizer and a main course, we had declined desert and a bit less than half of the bottle of wine remained. To me, this is TERRIBLE service. If I pay 230$ for dinner and I’m in & out in 1 hour, that is unacceptable. Going to good restaurants is supposed to be a "night out", an "event", something you talk about during the morning of the dinner, the day or days before or, in some cases, weeks before. Most of the times, you'll finish your meal and wine and slowly go home (maybe catch a last drink on your way back) as that was the "night out". If my dinner is done by 9, what the hell am I supposed to do after? Go home? (really?, a bit early no?) Go for a drink at 9pm? (really? who does that?) A meal in a good restaurant should never last less than 2 hours. I don't care if we went on a Tuesday, 1 hour is unacceptable. If you're not willing to properly serve your clients on Tuesdays, don't open at all.
In the end, although the food was very good (except for my appetizer which was a disaster), the service was too terrible to recommend this restaurant. I’m not sure I will go back again. At that price, you can get much better in the city.
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