We had high hopes of Le Chai because it is run by the former owners of Le Coq d'Or which was very good when they owned it. The décor is OK, wine bar style but not particularly comfortable. The loo opens directly onto the dining room i.e. with no intervening door, so the first thing that struck me as we sat down was that I could smell the urinal. I went for the 17.50€ menu and chose homemade veg soup which was OK followed by pollock with olive oil and lemon juice, crushed potatoes, half a carrot and bit of braised endive all of which was almost cold when it reached me and tasted of nothing, not lemon or any discernible seasoning. My husband went for the à la carte menu and chose mortadella which was good (no cooking required!) followed by what was supposed to be a tronçon of monkfish in a garlic cream sauce but was a couple of chewy bits from the tail end, also tastless, no garlic, no nothing. This was equally cold and had the same garnish as mine, with the addition of a small mushroom mousse.
We then sat and stared at our plates for about twenty minutes before they were cleared. We were going to have cheese and a café gourmand but we got so fed up with waiting that we just asked for the bill and had coffee elsewhere. The waithess did ask if it had been OK so I said it was cold and lacked seasoning and she said we should have said something and they could have warmed it up...I don't think a trip to the microwave would have made it any more edible.
Apart from the food we had a beer and three glasses of wine between us and the bill came to a rather steep 63.50€. Next time we visit Cognac we'll go to Bistro Claude, where we know we'll get a fantastic lunch in relaxing surroundings...we were just hoping that we'd have more than one restaurant to choose from when we visit Cognac.
Needless to say, we shall not be returning.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.