I rarely rate a restaurant this poorly but Stall-a deserved it and less. We had a 7:30 reservation on a Wednesday night in January -- not a particularly busy time at the Beau Rivage. We checked in promptly and were told it would be just a minute. Ten minutes later my wife asked the hostess if there was a problem (as we noticed the hostesses and wait staff scurrying back and forth) and the hostess replied "We are waiting for menus to return". Okay, I've eaten in 1000s of restaurants around the world but have never heard that one. Not having menus available can mean only three things -- they literally didn't order enough menus when they opened the place up (unlikely); they seated a lot of diners at about the same time (not good), or there are a lot of diners with menus sitting around waiting for someone to take their order (not good either). Perhaps it was a stall-a technique. As we waited I noticed a table in the bar that hadn't been bussed and never was for the 15 minutes we waited (another bad sign). Finally we were seated so the disaster of an evening could get started with earnest. The waitperson was pleasant enough. We ordered one appetizer, a Caesar salad to share, a rigatoni dish and a Margharita pizza (and a bottle of champagne). Not a particularly complicated order. Champagne arrived fairly quickly but nothing else did. Thirty minutes to get our bruschetta (it was bland so I reach for the salt shaker -- oops no salt or pepper on the table and noticed that neither table on either side of us had salt or pepper either); thirty more minutes to get the salad (boring again); and then after waiting for thirty more minutes (yes, a total of an hour and a half) we flagged down our waitress and asked why it was taking so long to get our entrees -- "I don't know I fired the order right in" was her reply. I then flagged down a fellow who appeared to be the manager. He checked the kitchen and came back with some flatbread and a bowl of sauce as an appeasement (something they clearly just slapped on a plate) and apologized for the "mix up" in the kitchen -- in other words our order was no where to be found. Ok, just bring us the check we've out of here. He goes away, comes back a few minutes later and says there is no need for us to pay -- sorry. Ok, great that they ripped up the check but that wasn't the point. I would have been happy to pay -- if we had ever received our simple entrees. The place was a disaster. Maybe it was just one of those nights but I won't be trying it again to find out. Although I do have the greatest "stall-a" the customer story to tell the next time I'm kept waiting for a table.
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