Let me start by saying, I never write bad reviews. If you can't say something nice say nothing at all was part of my upbringing. Of course if it is important issue, I speak up but hotels, and restaurants do not fit in that category for me so I just write about good ones and give the others a break. However, I have come to rely on trip advisor and I do not want others to have the experience we had tonight.
I first went to the Bistro on Spruce the last time I was in town two years ago. The food was great. Tonight started out with a delicious flatbread with pears, walnuts and figs. It was very good and I thought we were going to have another great meal. My husband ordered the Bistro Beef described as a tenderloin with tempura fried artichoke hearts, sautéed smashed red potatoes, grilled green onion and blue cheese cream. The steak was ordered medium rare. What he was served was a filet so rare it was cold in the middle, three spears of asparagus, three small red potatoes two of which had been smashed but had never seen any oil or butter or salt or pepper and had certainly never been sautéed, and a single green onion so dried up it could not be cut with a steak knife. A little bit of the cheese sauce was on the meat. No tempura artichoke hearts which were a featured part of the dish, and chewy raw steak. The waitress apologized for not telling him that there were no artichoke hearts.
My special of the night was to be a New York steak, with sautéed morel mushrooms, radicchio, mashed potatoes, and a balsamic glaze. I ordered the steak medium. What arrived was a filet, not a New York steak, rare not medium. The sautéed morels were three tiny morels that had been chopped, again never sautéed with any oil or butter or seasonings and they were gritty from not being prepared correctly. Radicchio always has a somewhat bitter flavor, but this charred bitter hunk was inedible. The mashed potatoes had no seasoning and the texture of instant potatoes. There was a small swirl of balsamic reduction on top of the steak.
So basically nothing was as described or ordered, tasteless and cooked incorrectly. My husband ate part of his meal and I sent mine back. At this point someone, maybe the chef, came to the table and said he was sorry and presented us with one creme brulee. He started to walk away and I asked him if he wanted to know what was wrong with our meals. After I explained he again apologized, said something about giving me another meal and walked away. Our nice waitress encouraged me to order something else to make up for it. I ordered some clam linguini with a cream sauce. It was edible but basically clams and linguini with a little half and half poured over it and no flavor. It could hardly be described as a sauce. I was hungry and I ate part of it. When we got the bill, my husband's meal had been removed but I was charged for my steak and linguini. Basically, we paid for our appetizer and two entrees and we were given one free dessert and an apology. One free dessert is hardly a sign of a sincere apology. It would be one thing if the food was just bad, but to describe two meals incorrectly and then serve something else and to offer to give someone a meal to make up for it and then charge them for it, seems pretty inexcusable to me. Customer service like that is even worse than bad food. I would most likely not have written the review if the food had been the only bad thing, but that combined with the poor customer service of the management, chef or whatever ( not the waitress who was very nice ) was the final straw.
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