Having traveled the world over the past 50 years, and having been in a position before retirement of requiring lavish entertainment in restaurants in almost every state, I have found many highly rated restaurants to be over-rated, and food to be overpriced and seldom up to the standard expected of a great restaurant. My experience at Restaurant Orsay Friday, February 8, 2013, provided a definite exception. Everything was perfect, from arrival and greeting, waiting time, service, quality of meals, presentation, ambiance, and friendliness of staff and management.
I had reserved a table for 3 to celebrate my wife's birthday with her and her daughter. We had a reservation for 7:45 p.m. We had never been to this restaurant before, nor had been in this part of town. We arrived at 7:38, and began to look for a place to park. Several lots and street parking areas were already full of cars, and it was obvious that this place was enormously popular. Of course it was Friday evening, but still, what a crowd? I fully expected that the reservation time would not be honored, and we would have a long wait. After finding a place to park on the street, and walking to the door and entering the restaurant, it was 7:40 p.m. There was a huge crowd inside a nearby bar area, some eating meals, and I gave our name and the fact that we had a 7:45 p.m. reservation. We were told the table would be ready in just a couple of minutes, something I had heard many times in the past when I had to wait another half hour or more. But not here! At exactly 7:45 p.m. we were taken to a pleasant area of the restaurant, to a table for 4, with two bottles of fine wine (Ramey Cabernet 2007) already on the table, with a card (This gift had been pre-arranged by by wife's son who had apparently called the restaurant to make that gift to us for his mother's birthday). The waiter was friendly and helpful, and took the time for small talk, as he explained that they did not have "specials," as everything on the menu was special (And from our experience that certainly was the truth). I was surprised to see a small card which was an "Oyster menu," from which one could order oysters from Florida, Chincoteague, VA and from another location that I cannot remember. We had the Chincoteague oysters on the half-shell, and they were spectacular. My wife's daughter had the portobello mushroom terrine, which she found to be exquisite. For our entres, my wife her daughter had the Pan Roasted Fish (Red Snapper) with grits, creamed corn, bacon, lobster roe butter, and cress. I had the Carolina Trout with glazed haricots, verts, almonds, fingerling potatoes, and lemon brown butter vinaigrette. They were perfect! Before we could consider ordering a dessert, the waiter brought us a vanilla bean crème brulee, with a lighted candle, and 3 scoops of the house-made ice creams & sorbets, "on the house." Shortly after that, Jason, the manager stopped by to visit with us. We had a wonderful, truly perfect dining experience that exceeds almost anything any of us had experienced before.
We travel a lot, and have, in the past four years spent months at a time in Italy, Spain, France, England, Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile, in addition to numerous cities in the USA, and often find good restaurants to try out. We cannot think of one in those restaurant experiences that was better than Orsay. We loved this restaurant, and most definitely will return.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.