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“Avoid this restaurant - indifferent food and bad wine”

Restaurant du Chateau
Ranked #2 of 14 Restaurants in Jarnac
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $21 - $69
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Reservations
Description: Follow the blackbird (merle in French) to the Place du Château, Jarnac’s main square!With its stone façade and its bright red awning, the Restaurant du Château is a landmark of the town of Jarnac. For almost 10 years now, Ludovic Merle, (member of the “Jeune Restaurateur d’Europe”) had been playing the kitchen’s pianos to the sound of creative, tasty and generous food in a relaxed and chic atmosphere. The Restaurant du Château is an ideal choice for works lunches, romantic dinners and family gatherings. The restaurant caters for groups of up to 150 people.
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Avoid this restaurant - indifferent food and bad wine”
Reviewed October 17, 2011

We went to this restaurant with high hopes having read recent travellers reviews and were bitterly disappointed. We were a group of 8 celebrating and paying for one of our friend's major birthdays. As it turned out we appeared to be the only persons in the restaurant that evening, but we were and are always comfortable with our own company. We were already aware that the menu would be more expensive than usual but we expected a quality experience which sadly we never received. The waitress service was slow but pleasant and although no English was spoken by the staff and our command of the French language was limited we managed to communicate often with good humour on both parties. Sadly the food transpired to be indifferent with several hot main courses ordered being lukewarm to cold. The presentation was fine but it was difficult to enthuse at such poor delivery. With the meal we ordered a large bottle of local red wine, perhaps not their finest but one that wasn’t quite so overpriced. At first nobody had any complaints until one of our number spotted the sediment floating on top of and in the wine. On closer examination this proved to be quite excessive and naturally unacceptable, a fact we brought to the waitress’ attention. We asked for a replacement bottle thinking that it was merely a bad bottle. This took a long time to produce because of the waitress’ seeming surprise that we were unhappy at the produce and tried to persuade us that this was normal. Hardly good service when clearly 8 people felt otherwise. Eventually a new bottle was produced but imagine our dismay when we found the same problem. In our view the wine was undrinkable although the waitress suggested decanting the wine which we rejected. We had decided not to complain about the lukewarm food as we were supposed to be celebrating a birthday but we were extremely disappointed at the attitude and reluctance of the staff over the wine. This could have been forgiven if when the bill was presented they hadn’t charged for both bottles. We indicated that we were not prepared to pay for the bad wine most of which we hadn’t drunk. The waitress was clearly out of her depth authority wise and was unprepared to negotiate a revised bill. She picked up the phone and suddenly a dinner suited man entered the restaurant, who we assumed might be the manager or at least a more senior waiter. He again spoke no English but insisted that we pay the bill in full. We were adamant that we were not going to pay for the bad wine but as a gesture we offered to pay for the half a bottle that we had poured. We paid the bill in cash but deducted 75% of the wine’s cost, explaining why. The man’s reaction to this was incredible. He was already acting in a hostile manner towards us but escalated matters by locking the doors and insisting that we pay the bill in full which we were clearly not prepared to do. He further exacerbated our concern but picking up the phone and speaking to someone, we knew not who, giving the impression he was not prepared to let us leave. We suggested that the gendarmerie should be called at which point there seemed to a thawing of relations and we were reluctantly allowed to leave but with a Gallic shrug of clear animosity. As you might imagine this ruined what we intended would be a pleasant evening for our friend’s birthday. Simple advice to anybody seeking a good restaurant in Jarnac, this isn’t one – it is overpriced and overrated and should be avoided at all costs.

  • Visited August 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
5 Thank Martin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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188 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    99
    49
    23
    15
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London
Level Contributor
72 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Excellent food and service - food justified price”
Reviewed August 27, 2011

We went here during a mid-week lunchtime. Great menu, most amazing veal with langoustine, meat like butter. Generous with a lovely foie-gras amuse bouche, excellent house wine, service charming. We went here because we'd been disappointed by La Ribaudiere a year before, where we'd experienced amazing food but quite poor service. Restaurant du Chateau is well worth the price and we'd definitely go back.

  • Visited August 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank RM1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Superb Lunch”
Reviewed August 22, 2011

We cycled into Jarnac on a hot summers day specifically for a gourmet lunch at the restaurant. It had been nearly three years since my last trip. The staff were very welcoming and attentive. We had the set lunchtime menu. We were served delicious canpes with our aperetif and an 'amuse bouche' before our starter of foie gras and gravadlax, there is a choice of 2 main courses and my friend and I chose one each - delicious iberian pork and wild salmon. For dessert we had a superb chocolate trio.
The price was exceedingly reasonable for the outstanding quality - far superior to any Cognac restaurants and even though we ate the set menu there was no compromise on quality, service or beautiful 'extras' I am surprised he has not yet been given a michelin star as he certainly would have earned one in the Uk by now.
If visiting the area this is a 'must' for an absolute treat and memorable meal. I ate there many times under the old ownership several years ago and have been three times under the new ownership and this trip was certainly the best ever! Well done

  • Visited August 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank UkCookieQueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam
Level Contributor
67 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Wonderful evening. Fabulous food.”
Reviewed April 21, 2011

Wonderful evening here while holidaying in the region. Fantastic kitchen with local and international flavors. Service as only the French can. Cheese course must!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank RobbyAmsterdam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton & Jarnac
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Up-market, sophisticated dining for special occasions”
Reviewed January 11, 2010

Excellent food, beautifully presented and although expensive represents good value. Would recommend for special occasions and treating yourselves.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank jaycee_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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