My dining companion was excited to have found " a real French restaurant" in Big Bear City.
We hit it mid Saturday evening and it was quiet - maybe 5 or 6 tables taken.
When we entered the sole server was attending to a table but we were ignored for an appreciable time till she was free. OK, I will live with that - she can only do one thing at a time but the entry lobby was dark, unlit and I'm sure others would walk away at the lack of attention.
We got seated and my companion ordered a bottle of Beaujolais. The first two he requested from the list were not available and we eventually settled for a Fleurie which was very good. As we had eaten appetizers elsewhere we each ordered an entree. In the hiatus, during which we were served two different amuse bouche, we conversed with a couple seated nearby who spoke well of the desserts and who were appreciative regulars. The entrees we ordered were delivered and proved to be excellent - the half rack of lamb particularly so.
We had no issue with the timing -our whole experience at Madlon's was spread over 2 hours - as we hate the alternative of rushing a diner.
We ordered a trial dessert.
When I order crêpes in a French restaurant I expect them to be freshly cooked but this had come straight from the fridge with a warm sauce and chopped fruit poured over it.
It was left only partly eaten.
By this stage we were the only diners left and as my dining companion got into a discussion with the server it became clear that she and the chef (whom we thought might have put in an appearance, per French tradition) - are running the whole place on their own. In fact after we had paid she disappeared and despite our calling out a "good night" that was the last we saw of her.
My companion was much less inclined than me to see the failings. And it's a pity that they are clearly undercapitalized to the extent where they really desparately need one more person front of house. According to the server (who was very pleasant if obviously stressed) they do not read reviews.
Ah well, their choice but my prognosis for Madlon's is not good. Shame really when it could be excellent.
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