Montparnasse, commonly referred to as "the Piano Bar" is a Mykonos institution, and rightly so. It's a unique experience, partly due to it's setting overlooking the crystal clear waters of Little Venice and the windmills, but more importantly because of the nightly cabaret provided by the entertaining Kathy and Phyllis.
It's not a particularly comfortable venue, but it's intimate, fun and a great place to kill an hour before heading out to dinner or to bridge the gap between dinner and a night on the tiles.
So, why the bad rating? The Piano Bar *is* an institution but it's increasingly suffering from poor cocktails and even worse customer service. On our recent visit last week, we were seated quickly enough and ordered a pina colada and an espresso martini.
The pina was ok, but by the time it arrived at our table it had already separated into juice at the bottom and slush on top. The espresso martini, however, arrived with no foam on top and with a cinnamon stick in the glass (why a cinnamon stick?). Ok, different bars make it different ways – however when we both tried the martini, we overwhelmingly agreed that it was disgusting. It tasted like Marmite and was gritty as though there were coffee grounds in it or they had made it with instant coffee!
I sent the drink back to the bar and suggested that the bartender taste test it to see what had gone wrong. When the waiter returned he let me know that the bartender said that it was fine and that it was "just how he made them" and that he was happy to make a different drink but that we'd still have to pay for the martini (in a rude tone).
I didn't want to make a fuss so I decided to pay for the round and leave, but at an overpriced €11-12 per drink, this is not acceptable.
We have since spoke with other regular travellers to Mykonos and the Piano Bar, that had similar experiences of bad, overpriced cocktails and being treated rudely by staff.
We've been going to Mykonos for over a decade and despite our experience I'd still recommend the Piano Bar to visitors, but at the same time I would caution them to stick to beer, wine or mixed drinks – avoid the cocktails! Further, I'd urge the management to look at their customer service and consider making some changes to restore the bar back to its former glory rather than just milking tourists with overpriced, sub-standard drinks.
For ourselves, we won't be going back any time soon as it just ruins the memory of the good times we've had there.
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