I guess that the vagaries of voluntary surveys is reflected in the fact that Chien Noir is #30 while Grecos is #1 today. There is no accounting for other people's taste.
We have lived in or near Kingston for the last 30 years and the Chien Noir is our most frequented restaurant. We've also travelled and lived abroad all our working lives and our judgement is that CN's steak & frites and their moules & frites are as good as - no, normally better than anything - we have been served in France, Belgium, Switzerland or anywhere else.
On rare occasion, there has been a mediocre plat, but by and large our experience at the CN keeps bringing us back: for normal, downtown shopping lunches, for special dinners and for a good meal with family and/or friends.
Plats and entrées, wines, spirits and coffee are all normally excellent, often superlative, both in presentation and taste. Desserts, we have learned over the years, are better to pass on and walk down to Ontario St. For a gelato.
I've noticed one negative comment on service and a reference to visible disappointment at a 15% tip. My only comment on those is that, again there is no accounting for individuals and individual reactions. There may well have been a marginal server but there may also have been a customer whose level of expectation is unmatchable.
All I can offer is that the staff has been invariably friendly, attentive, kind and careful with us over the years.
And as for tip expectations, that has never been any kind of issue for us. I tip 15% of the pre-tax amount, give or take a few cents for rounding up or down. I have never observed chagrin, anger, disappointment or any other emotion other than gratitude and courtesy from our servers. And we are always welcomed back.
By the way, permit me to get on my soapbox for moment:
If restaurants in Canada and the U. S. would/could put tax & service included prices on their menus as is done in civilized countries, we could all enjoy our meals out, knowing what we are paying up front, without uncertainty, disappointment, angst or other emotions associated with tipping. Either for the customer or for the restaurant staff.
Chien Noir remains our #1 go to in Kingston.
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