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“A great place in Williamsburg”
Review of Blue Talon Bistro

Blue Talon Bistro
Ranked #25 of 393 Restaurants in Williamsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: American, French
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Takeout
Reviewed February 13, 2013

Had a reservation at 7pm on a Saturday night and we were promptly seated. Server was nice, offered advice on menu Items. French onion soup and chopped salads for appetizers, all were delicious. Our entrees did come out very quickly but we were never rushed and enjoyed our time. Lamb shank was fantastic. It has a great lively atmosphere which was good since we had our 17th month old with us. I would highly recommend stopping in for dinner.

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Thank mtoneill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,246 - 1,250 of 1,688 reviews

Reviewed February 12, 2013

I had lunch at the Blue Talon yesterday -- and had forgotten how wonderful their soups of the day are. As usual, good service, great food. I can't afford to go here every day, but I love it once a month or so.

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Thank susanbranchsmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2013

I recently dined at Blue Talon for a birthday celebration. The interior is charming and the menu is varied. We were a large group, but had made reservations, and our table was ready when we arrived. From the moment we sat down, we felt rushed. Our server would rudely interrupt our group - all adults from 30s to 60s - as we chatted; she impatiently described specials and was just rude and charmless, never coming back to check on us, and unhelpful with the champagne selection. She interrupted my husband's drink request with a knowitall response, then brought him the wrong drink. When he noted that he'd asked for it to be made with a "splash of coke," she had someone bring him a can of coke. Despite this (and the fact that other waitstaff brought the food out to us), she got the automatic 20% tip since we were a large group, which is not something I have ever had a problem with before, but given that we were rushed and treated in such an unfriendly manner, I hardly think such a large tip is just, especially considering that even a 15% tip would have been substantial (the portion of the bill for my husband and me was over $150 before the tip, and we had around 9 other people).

Aside from the service, the food was truly hit-or-miss, with some of it being excellent and some (potatoes! how can you mess up potatoes?!) hardly edible (not that the server bothered to ask how we liked anything).

There are restaurants within a stone's throw that offer better food and service, so I won't be returning. There are worse restaurants in Williamsburg - I assume to trap tourists - but given the iffy food and poor service, this isn't worth giving a second chance.

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1  Thank nocares67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ASteely, General Manager at Blue Talon Bistro, responded to this reviewResponded February 23, 2013

I'm sorry that you felt rushed - as I have addressed to other folks, that is my fault for setting up the restaurant for local diners as opposed to special occasion dining. We are well equipped to handle both but it seems we dropped the ball in your case. I do have to say, your server is not supposed to be serving your food, they have teammates that all pitch in to get the job done together, so I hate to see her faulted for something that was actually done right. On the other hand, she clearly needed to pay attention to your drink order and get it right the first time, not bring a can of Coke for your husband.

I'm not quite sure how to address the comment about potatoes, which seemed to be the only substantive mention of the food. We average a little less than $40 per person for dinner, so we don't see many folks at more than double that average, so I can't really speak to the value of our menu except to say that our entrees range from $12 - $28 and our wine list, including our Champagnes, have received top honors for range and value for the last 9 years.

As a brief aside, in defense of waiters everywhere: restaurants apply gratuities to larger parties precisely because guests often feel that the higher check total for a group justifies them leaving a lower tip than normal. Unfortunately, what gets overlooked is that multiple smaller groups will often spend what amounts to more money that one big group and inevitably spend less time occupying the tables, allowing the server to work harder to earn more money. So, while your gratuity probably did seem large overall, please understand that our servers do work hard and train hard to earn a good living.

It does seem that we dropped the ball a bit for you, unfortunately, but these young people are really the only ones in our economy that have their livelihood being impacted by even their slightest mistake. I would rather do what I can to address your comments and work to assure you and other visitors to this site that we take these matters seriously than to see anyone blame their server for the experience and not compensate them for their efforts.

Thanks for taking the time to share - I am sorry that your husband's drink order wasn't handled better and I would love the opportunity to respond to any details you would like to provide about the food so that you might be more comfortable returning and giving us the chance to take care of you in the fashion that we would very much like to do. I hope we do see you again in the future.

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Reviewed February 11, 2013

I happened to be in Williamsburg recently and was advised by a retail shop worker to go to the Blue Talon for their hot chocolate. Simply put: it surely must be the best in the entire world. No kidding. It resembles a cup of melted chocolate with a dash of creme more than anything else. Then they toss in a homemade marshmallow.
I live an hour away. I will drive there just for a cup of this divine drink!

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1  Thank ladyrev484
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ASteely, General Manager at Blue Talon Bistro, responded to this reviewResponded February 23, 2013

Thanks for trying the Parisian Hot Chocolate. I wish we could take credit for that style of hot chocolate but the name is more that window dressing. The French take their hot chocolate very seriously and we felt obliged to live up to the Parisian standard! We'll look forward to seeing you again soon for another cup!

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Reviewed February 11, 2013

The food was good, but the service was terrible. Our appetizers came before our wine. This is a no no. We barely finished our appetizers and the dinner arrived. There was no reason for this because the hour was late and diners were already leaving. The food wasnt anything special that would make me forgive the terribly fast and rushed service. When spending lots of money eating out, one does not wish to be rushed.

Thank nangwynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ASteely, General Manager at Blue Talon Bistro, responded to this reviewResponded February 23, 2013

Ouch. Sorry about that. We definitely are set up as a neighborhood bistro, which means that it's not exactly a relaxed, more "fine dining" experience. That being said, we are happy to slow things down - we do not want anyone to feel rushed. We do try very hard to balance the desire for locals to be able to grab a tasty, but quick, meal with the goal of the visitor or special occasion diner to spend a little more time. Usually we get it right but, obviously in your case, we don't quite hit the mark.

I do hope you enjoyed your food and please understand that the failures in service are my responsibility for stressing speed and efficiency, not your server's fault. They really aren't in control of that pace and I would hate to see them get blamed. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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