Generally not inclined to write negative reviews, but this is a sort-of service to other diners, no? Especially those who will spend this kind of money.
We arrived 5 minutes late for our reservation and were told our table wasn't quite ready. There were many empty visible tables inside. The gentleman who greeted us asked if we'd like to check our coats, and would we like a drink while we waited. He, apparently, on a busy Saturday night, was the host, the coat-check man, and the bartender. Others came in behind us. It took forever for him to do all these things, for all of these people. Eventually we got our drinks but the table took considerably longer. We were seated maybe 40 minutes after our reservation time; on our way to our seats we passed many tables still empty, but noticed that they had not been set yet, after diners that had left some time ago.
We were greeted hastily and very casually, we thought, for this kind of place ("how are you guys"), menus dropped in a single stack in vront of one of us. We asked for a bottle of sparkling water and he returned and poured tap water into our glasses. He rushed through a list of specials. We weren't thinking this was our waiter but rather someone keeping us busy until our waiter could appear. He was our waiter. The sparkling water came eventually.
There were combinations of prix-fixe options. Most of them had additional combinations of upcharges. It was kind of odd, and meals suddenly became very expensive.
Our meals were just ok. Foie gros appetizer was tiny, tiny, and somehow sort of runny. "Baby" lobster tails added to specials (an upcharge of course) were also tiny. Understand we aren't the types who want giant plates of food. Lamb was really, really, really cooked. Desserts were lesser variations of what was listed, or simply unavailable. Espresso was not good.
It is a beautiful room. Everyone who attended to us was friendly, and seemed to be doing their very best. And yet, this was a very expensive, very mediocre meal. They must do way better than this. Was it the holiday season? Was it because of the large party in the next room?
Is there a New York bias to this review? Maybe, but these were every bit New York prices. And Charlotte isn't a little town any longer.
We had to get our own coats on the way out, from the closet we'd see the man go into when we arrived. There was no longer anyone to be seen in the front of the house. There were some nice coats in that closet.
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