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“I was gobsmacked - great food but I was so embarrassed by the head waiter”
Review of Capsouto Freres - CLOSED

Capsouto Freres
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: TriBeCa
Cross street: Watts Street
Transit: 1 train to Varick Street/Canal Street, and A, C & E trains to Canal Street. M20 bus: uptown at Hudson Street & Spring Street, and downtown at Varick Street & Grand Street.
Reviewed May 20, 2012

I have delayed writing this review until I could find the right words. We shared a family meal here with 10 of us a couple of weeks ago. The food was beautifully presented and the menu offered a great variety. We'd been told that this was a great place to eat. As travelling Australians we were still getting our head around the Tipping in USA. In LA we'd been given an advice sheet which said that restaurants expected to get 15%. At the end of the meal, I arranged to sign the bill, and calculated what I thought was 15%, added it to visa sheet. To my horror (and that of the other people at our table) the head waiter came over to me with it and announced (so that all could hear) that the tip was not sufficient. I was shocked. Someone at the table told me to look at the tax and double it to give the tip amount - I very quickly did that BUT was very embarrassed to have been put into this situation. I still cannot believe that the head waiter did this to me. Had he called me over to the front desk and advised me quietly, I would have understood and complied happily. As it is, I felt so desperate to just fix up my mistake and get out of the place as fast as possible. This was not a desired result at all. In fact, the more I consider it, the more I wished that I could have just left it as it was and told this man how much of a bully he was being and how rude. I'm not sure I will ever visit this restaurant again - there'd certainly be a very sour taste in my mouth. Unfortunately for this, I'm going to mark the service as terrible - where in fact the service from the waiters was fine, but the head waiter destroyed all faith.

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3  Thank MCRAD16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (37)
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8 - 12 of 37 reviews

Reviewed April 22, 2012

We were a group of 3, arrived at 9pm on a Saturday, about 10 tables were being served at the time, we were seated immediately; 2 waiters attended to us during our 2 hour stay.

The menu has a large variety of dishes I would expect to see in any good restaurant in France, not overwhelmingly large like wine lists always are (to me), just adequate.

Out of the 11 open wines & champagnes, we ordered a glass of the 2009 Lamoreaux Landing, Finger Lakes, Riesling and the 2009 Galil Mountain, Galilee, Cabernet Sauvignon. Both more than satisfied the expectations we had for the respective grape/wine.

Prior to the appetizers, a small slice of toasted petit baguette with foie gras was served. I don't recall 2 other ingredients; the taste was as can be expected in a restaurant of this price range: Pleasant complexity and taste in a small package.

As appetizers we ordered the Terrine Provencale, the Escargots and the Saucisson de Lyon en Croute with Madeira Sauce. All outstanding in taste, complexity, presentation, and authenticity. To avoid any confusion: The Terrine Provencal is not a soup, but layered vegetables and meats of which a warm 1/2" slice is served.

Our main courses were the Cassoulet of Duck, Lamb, Pork, Sausage, and white beans; Duck Confit; and Braised Boneless Short Rib Bordelaise. Here also in general outstaning taste, complexity and authenticity. Special mention for the Cassoulet: The ratio of beans to meats was too high, resulting in a dominating bean taste. The duck was prepared crispy on the outside and moist on the inside... perfect. For the Short Rib, the ribs were great, but the mention goes to a beyond perfect roasted tomato; I have not experienced such taste complexity in this simplistic component.

The desert was one Chocolate Souffle for all 3 of us, we were urged by our host, and it was just the right amount. It is being served with warm chocolate sauce being added into the souffle and topped off with whipped cream at the table. Being somewhat of a chocolate snob, I have to say that the souffle was very good, but it didn't sweep me off the floor. I had a feeling that the whipped cream was of instant origin.

The wait staff attention and politeness was adequate and serving time was always within 10 to 15 minutes between servings. We had one glass of water being served with floating objects that was immediately replaced.

The ambiance is similar to modern European establishments with a classic touch: High ceilings, exposed wood beams (unfortunately foam boards in between), wood floors, classic wood tables, and cloth covered wood chairs (some with worn springs), the walls are plain white as far as I can recall.

One big negative is the restrooms cleanliness; that too could be considered authentic, I guess.

The reductions from an excellent to a very good rating are based on the restrooms, the water floaties the waiter should have noticed himself, the bean to meat ratio in the Cassoulet, and the overall price.

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1  Thank wersonst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2012

Love the typical French atmosphere. Quietly elegant. Delicious souffles for both main course and dessert. A touch of Paris in New York.

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Thank moby48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2012

My husband booked this restaurant after googling 'best anniversary restaurants in NYC' and doing some research & this kept coming up on the 10 best lists and now we know why! We walked into the restaurant & were greeted by the owners & staff very warm & welcoming. Were seated at the table immediately and had very professional wait staff (some of the best service we've had in NY!). My husband had seafood, I had steak and for dessert we shared a chocolate souffle which was exceptional. The ambiance was perfect and is the sort of place where you can dress in a pair of jeans with nice shirt or get dressed up in a suit & you would be comfortable either way. You can go as a family or have a romantic meal as a couple. We saw people enjoying themselves throughout the restaurant and we finished the evening by standing & chatting with the owners for about 10 mins at the end and they are a lovely couple who truly love being restauranteurs. You must have a dessert souffle!!!!

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Thank yourtravelchick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2011

This, by far, was one of my worst experiences. We made reservations for close to 20 people to celebrate my birthday. Despite plenty of space in the corner, the owner (whom we communicated a few times prior to the occasion, and explained what we were hoping for), divided us into two separate tables. This was really exceedingly uncomfortable and NOT what we wanted. We made it very clear to him that we wanted one table because people wanted to express themselves, and this was impossible for others to hear, in this setting. Yet, he would NOT change the setting! The food was far from being great. Further more, throughout the evening, the waiters kept pouring wine into empty glass without asking if guests wanted more wine, thus there were countless wine bottles opened without our knowledge. The bill for the wine alone, at the end of the evening was close to a $900! This was outrageous! Plus, there were some gifts missing, including envelopes with cash and gift certificates! I would definitely NOT recommend this restaurant to anyone!

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1  Thank RoseOnTheBank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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