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View Full Version : An experience in a "nouvelle cuisine" restaurant



gzhpcu
2013-Dec-19, 06:36 AM
So my wife talked to going to a chic, trendy restaurant called "Arte" (which means art in Italian). Should have known better. The menu card looked promising. It seemed like one could actually get fed, very detailled list of ingredients and side dishes. So, I ordered chicken breast, with mashed potatoes with peas and carrots baked in the oven.

When my dish arrived on a very large dish, covering practically all of my half of the table. Low and behold, there was actually an acceptable piece of chicken breast on the plate. It stopped there though. The quantity of the mashed potatoes amounted to about two soup spoons. Of carrots, not a trace. On closer inspection (and this is no joke), I saw one tiny orange thing about one inch long and one fourth of an inch thick. Out of curiosity, I tried it and, it was a miniscule portion of carrot.

I promptly called the snotty headwaiter, and complained. Told him it says "carrots baked in the oven" on the menu card.

He replied loftily, "Ah yes... we include all the ingredients, because some person might be allergic to carrots....".

"OK, fair enought, but can you explain why the portion is so tiny?" I asked.

"Ah yes... Well this is because some person might be allergic to carrots..." he repeated. :doh:

I asked him why even list it on the menu. (Yeah, right, he repeated, "because some person might be allergic to carrots..."

I must admit at this point to losing my cool (something which I rarely do), and noticed the worried look on my wife's face... told him to keep quiet and listen to me. I tried explaining the situation to him, but from the blank expression on his face, noticed he was not listening and would repeat his endless litany of "because some person might be allergic to carrots"...:wall:

I did gain some measure of revenge, however, and adjusted the size of the tip to the size of the carrots... :)

I hate modish restaurants where the menus are immensely detailled, the plates huge, the actual food delivered microscopic (but "artfully decorated"), the bill macroscopic...

Jeff Root
2013-Dec-19, 08:08 AM
Different people want different quantities. An expensive
restaurant is presumeably providing fancy service. That
is what makes them expensive, and what justifies their
expense. So they should learn that different prople want
different quantities, and adjust to serve that need. Which
should be easy to do since the cost of most menu items
is almost trivial compared to the cost of providing the
service.

But also...

Could you really have eaten more than you were served?
Maybe it looked puny, paltry, measley and miniscule on
your plate, but after you finished that off would you really
have been unsatisfied?

But I agree: too much china for too little food looks dumb.

And...

Is *anyone* allergic to carrots? Never heard of it. Except
in little kids who are allergic to vegetables in general.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

pzkpfw
2013-Dec-19, 08:43 AM
Wow. In my recent trip to America, I (and my Family) found portions to be very generous. Must have gone to the right places. Appetisers the size of what I'd call mains.

My Wife is smaller than me, and it's a standard joke among us that when we order food she generally gets some mound she can't finish and I get the Gordon Blue portion. Sigh.

It's a long standing thing; pretty much the first time we went out (22 years ago, before marriage) we had a meal somewhere that offered "French fries or baked potato" as the side with the steak I ordered. Getting fries seemed a bit "uncultured" so I ordered the baked potato. It literally was a single, small, baked potato. I complained when we left, but it was pointed out to me the menu gave a choice. Sigh.

About two years ago we had the most expensive meal ever, with some friends, at a degustation (sp?) restaurant. The sort of thing where there are seven courses (they were all very tasty), each with a recommended wine match. All that money, but when I went home I ate a plate of curry left over from the previous nights' home cooked meal, as I was hungry.

Van Rijn
2013-Dec-19, 09:48 AM
Wow. In my recent trip to America, I (and my Family) found portions to be very generous. Must have gone to the right places. Appetisers the size of what I'd call mains.


In my experience, in the U.S., portions typically got larger from the '80s to the '90s. I'm not lightweight but I can only rarely eat everything served in a restaurant.

I looked up carrot allergies, and there's a line repeated a few places claiming that an allergy to carrots is much more common in Europe than the U.S. accounting for around 25% of food allergies there. But how common are food allergies there? Also, I don't know if that claim is well established.

jokergirl
2013-Dec-19, 02:06 PM
I live in Europe and I've never met a person allergic to carrots. And I meet people allergic to all kinds of weird stuff. Honey, celery, fish, legumes, yes, but not carrots.

profloater
2013-Dec-19, 02:42 PM
Never heard of a carrot allergy either, but of course you can get a nasty dose of bacteria or gastric virus from raw carrots, as with any salad. There was someone tried to live on just carrots, turned carrot coloured. Now carrot cake, that is something else, possible the best cake ever?

Solfe
2013-Dec-19, 03:55 PM
Never heard of a carrot allergy either, but of course you can get a nasty dose of bacteria or gastric virus from raw carrots, as with any salad. There was someone tried to live on just carrots, turned carrot coloured. Now carrot cake, that is something else, possible the best cake ever?

Aw... don't tel me that. I'd eat salad for breakfast if my wife let me. Love it.

At Cub Scout Camp (which is the opposite of Nouvelle Cusine), I had a discussion with a scout councilor from Slovenia about food and potions at camp and how they differed from what she was used to.

She was a fan of soup at lunch for its portability. It sounded like she might have a cup or two and perhaps some little snack, back home. Relative to what she was used to, the amount of food at our camp was amazing. I explained that most restaurants wouldn't serve that quantity of food, the portion sizes were small but far more portions per person than normal. Little kids need more food when running wild.

My boys out ate me at every meal (a 7 and 9 year old). This was also fueled by the fact that they had 8 other scouts to scavenge fruits and vegetable from:

"I'll trade my pizza for your carrots! Ok? Yea!"

My kids would live on broccoli and spinach if I let them. I've had to implement a spinach policy at dinner, because someone would get bitten for that last helping. They are so weird.

DonM435
2013-Dec-19, 04:12 PM
When I was a kid, I'd eat the things I liked off the plate and ignore the rest. After all, someone else (like my parents) was paying for it.

I distinctly remember that I began to force myself to eat almost everything once I was on my own and doing the paying. Even the parsley.

Jeff Root
2013-Dec-19, 05:13 PM
I don't think it ever occurred to me before that a potion is a
portion of a portion.

I was given something in a paper bag at a Boy Scout event a
few years ago, which they referred to as "lunch". No, not the
event-- the contents of the bag were referred to as "lunch".
I think there must have been Cub Scouts there, too, because
when I opened the bag (which I incorrectly assumed at the
time was the same as all the other identical-appearing brown
paper bags), I found that the "sandwich" therein not only was
made with white bread, but the crust was cut off. I forget
now what was inside the bread. Something. I think I may
have recorded it on the Internet somewhere... At least the
bag also contained an unaltered apple.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Solfe
2013-Dec-19, 06:38 PM
I don't think it ever occurred to me before that a potion is a
portion of a portion.



Not even spell check can save me. :)

Buttercup
2013-Dec-19, 07:11 PM
I follow a food blogger in Perth, Australia and can definitely see small portions and big prices. And yes, I'm aware of Oz being much less populated than the US, which of course increases prices. However...$6 Oz for a slice of homemade banana bread??

Lady blogger also frequents high-end, snooty restaurants. She's become somewhat popular and gets discounts or free meals for a review. She is fair about service, food, and prices.

However, it is "something" to see those artsy-fartsy plates of weirdly decorated and small food items so exorbiantly priced...when, meanwhile, she can skip down to a nearby Asian mom and pop restaurant, get a HUGE bowl of noodles and veggies and chicken for maybe $7.

I know where I'd be eating; the Asian place, or at home!

Noclevername
2013-Dec-19, 07:14 PM
I think most people who go to these "nouvelle" restaurants are not going there for good food, they are going there for... whatever these places have besides food, I guess.

Jeff Root
2013-Dec-19, 08:51 PM
You can cast another spell... You have one potion left.
I'm just a little disappointed we didn't get to read about
the potability of the soup.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

DonM435
2013-Dec-19, 08:59 PM
You can cast another spell... You have one potion left.
I'm just a little disappointed we didn't get to read about
the potability of the soup.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Well, if the portion of potion was extremely puny, it should be quite portable. ;)

gzhpcu
2013-Dec-19, 10:07 PM
Could you really have eaten more than you were served?
Maybe it looked puny, paltry, measley and miniscule on
your plate, but after you finished that off would you really
have been unsatisfied?

Yes, I was still hungry (and I am not overweight - 6'2", 190 lbs.) The chicken breast was not much, but acceptable. But the side dishes: mashed potatoes (two soup spoons), oven baked carrots - homeopathic portion. In short: a rip-off.

gzhpcu
2013-Dec-19, 10:09 PM
I think most people who go to these "nouvelle" restaurants are not going there for good food, they are going there for... whatever these places have besides food, I guess.
A big bill? :)

Trebuchet
2013-Dec-19, 10:36 PM
Well, if the portion of potion was extremely puny, it should be quite portable. ;)

Portable soup! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_soup)

Solfe
2013-Dec-19, 10:53 PM
A friend of mine worked at a company that was attempting bring to market self-heating cans of coffee. They looked remarkably like a hand grenade and sizzled a bit once the heating tab was pulled. It didn't taste very good and had a funny smell when warming.

loglo
2013-Dec-20, 12:43 AM
Is the portable soup potable though?

danscope
2013-Dec-20, 02:50 AM
It's really too bad. You would think a trendy restaurant would at least celebrate the vegetables ( being a major nutritional
portion of the meal .... and really....not that difficult or expensive to supply) . And a pitifull serving of potatoes just tells
us the restaurant does not respect it's customers. It's just not that hard to get mashed potatoes through a star tip and make an appealing plate that says " Enjoy " . That restaurant is scheduled for failure ..... soon .Just saying.
It wouldn't fly in Rhode Island. Hmmmm.....

gzhpcu
2013-Dec-20, 06:54 AM
Another point I was trying to make (and seems to have been missed), is that "carrots in the oven" were explicitly mentioned, then (and I am not exaggerating - should have photographed it), an orange speck, not much bigger than a grain of rice was on the plate. Asking the head waiter for an explanation, he said "we mention all ingredients because some people might be allergic to carrots", both for why it was mentioned on the menu AND why it was such a tiny portion. He did not know the difference between ingredient and supplement! Apart from which it was nonsensical to say it is mentioned on the menu, and then offering just a homeopathic portion, justifying it for the same reason.

swampyankee
2013-Dec-20, 11:12 AM
Nouvelle cuisine seems to have been developed by people who went into the restaurant business because the couldn't hack it as architects. I do not need gargantuan portions, but if I need to go to a diner to satisfy my hunger right after a restaurant sold me a pricey, elegant, miniscule meal, the place has failed regardless of flavor.

Jeff Root
2013-Dec-20, 12:12 PM
It is possible for a restaurant to run out of anything at any
time, but carrots and potatoes both seem like items that
would rarely run out unexpectedly. So it seems unlikely that
they were limited by availability. So I'd ask two questions
of the restaurant manager/owner/chef:

Why was there only one very small piece of carrot in the
"carrots"?

What did you do with the rest of it?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

gzhpcu
2013-Dec-20, 12:22 PM
It is possible for a restaurant to run out of anything at any
time, but carrots and potatoes both seem like items that
would rarely run out unexpectedly. So it seems unlikely that
they were limited by availability. So I'd ask two questions
of the restaurant manager/owner/chef:

Why was there only one very small piece of carrot in the
"carrots"?

What did you do with the rest of it?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis
If you read my posts above, that is what I did. He replied "because some people are allergic to carrots"...:rolleyes:

Jeff Root
2013-Dec-20, 12:54 PM
You said you talked to the head waiter.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Heid the Ba'
2013-Dec-20, 01:39 PM
I think most people who go to these "nouvelle" restaurants are not going there for good food, they are going there for... whatever these places have besides food, I guess.
No, most people go to nouvelle cuisine restaurants for the food. I can't speak about the restaurant in the OP but the appeal is usually to eat food you can't make at home or haven't tried anywhere else. If the restaurant is good it is a remarkable experience, if it bad then it will close. If the description of the service is accurate then it won't be around long.

From the dish quoted in the OP I don't think this restaurant should be described as nouvelle cuisine so shouldn't be lumped in with somewhere like The Fat Duck. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fat_Duck) Being pricey and pretentious but serving a plain chicken breast is not nouvelle cuisine.

Out of curiosity, was it a tiny carrot or a tiny piece of carrot?

Edit for clarity and speeling.

Heid the Ba'
2013-Dec-20, 01:49 PM
It's really too bad. You would think a trendy restaurant would at least celebrate the vegetables ( being a major nutritional
portion of the meal .... and really....not that difficult or expensive to supply) .
Trendy restaurants are there to be seen in, nouvelle cuisine restaurants are there to experiment with food and tastes. The two are every different things. Neither is in the business of nutrition or large portions, though a good restaurant will use high quality ingredients which may be better and more nutritious than the diner uses at home.


And a pitifull serving of potatoes just tells
us the restaurant does not respect it's customers.
Or that the restaurant respects you enough to give you flavours and textures rather than volume. Or as in the OP it tells you it is a bad restaurant.

Edit to fix tags.

Heid the Ba'
2013-Dec-20, 02:11 PM
I follow a food blogger in Perth, Australia and can definitely see small portions and big prices. And yes, I'm aware of Oz being much less populated than the US, which of course increases prices.
It does? By what mechanism?


However...$6 Oz for a slice of homemade banana bread??
How does that compare to the US in terms of the time taken to earn the money to pay for it?


Lady blogger also frequents high-end, snooty restaurants. She's become somewhat popular and gets discounts or free meals for a review. She is fair about service, food, and prices.
But does she get better service and meals than someone who is not known to be a restaurant critic? There was an article in the NYT (I think) where the restaurant critic and a colleague ate separately at the same top end restaurant on the same night. The critic, who was well known to the owner, was at a better table, received several free courses and free top ups of wine which his colleague did not.

Edit to add: link to NYT article. (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/24/dining/reviews/restaurant-review-daniel-on-the-upper-east-side.html)


However, it is "something" to see those artsy-fartsy plates of weirdly decorated and small food items so exorbiantly priced...when, meanwhile, she can skip down to a nearby Asian mom and pop restaurant, get a HUGE bowl of noodles and veggies and chicken for maybe $7.
You do realise that the cost represents the time taken by a skilled chef to prepare and decorate the food, not the cost of the ingredients? That a chef (or chefs) has probably spent hours making all the parts from scratch and then assembling them.

gzhpcu
2013-Dec-20, 02:41 PM
You said you talked to the head waiter.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis
OK, my mistake, he is also the owner.

gzhpcu
2013-Dec-20, 02:45 PM
From the dish quoted in the OP I don't think this restaurant should be described as nouvelle cuisine so shouldn't be lumped in with somewhere like The Fat Duck. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fat_Duck) Being pricey and pretentious but serving a plain chicken breast is not nouvelle cuisine.

Out of curiosity, was it a tiny carrot or a tiny piece of carrot?

Edit for clarity and speeling.
It was a very tiny bit of carrot.

Heid the Ba'
2013-Dec-20, 03:00 PM
Tiny veg were a thing a couple of years ago, but a tiny piece of carrot (and their rediculous explanation) are laughable.

Trebuchet
2013-Dec-20, 03:19 PM
I had a wonderful burger at this place (http://peaceloveandgrub.com/) yesterday. It's much more my style than "nouvelle cuisine". No shortages of anything.

Buttercup
2013-Dec-20, 03:33 PM
I had a wonderful burger at this place (http://peaceloveandgrub.com/) yesterday. It's much more my style than "nouvelle cuisine". No shortages of anything.

Yum, yum, yum!! :) Read their menu; nice variety. One "complaint": No butterscotch shakes??

Noclevername
2013-Dec-20, 04:04 PM
From the dish quoted in the OP I don't think this restaurant should be described as nouvelle cuisine so shouldn't be lumped in with somewhere like The Fat Duck. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fat_Duck) Being pricey and pretentious but serving a plain chicken breast is not nouvelle cuisine.

I only called it that because the OP called it that, I have no experience with that particular restaurant nor with nouvelle cuisine in general.

NEOWatcher
2013-Dec-20, 05:49 PM
You do realise that the cost represents the time taken by a skilled chef to prepare and decorate the food, not the cost of the ingredients? That a chef (or chefs) has probably spent hours making all the parts from scratch and then assembling them.
That's for sure, but without seeing what gzhpcu's plate looked like, we can't make that call.

Although; the chef could have been out back for a long time whittling that carrot down to a single carrot julienne.

gzhpcu
2013-Dec-20, 06:21 PM
That's for sure, but without seeing what gzhpcu's plate looked like, we can't make that call.

Although; the chef could have been out back for a long time whittling that carrot down to a single carrot julienne.
If there is a next time, I'll take a photo...

nota
2013-Dec-20, 08:00 PM
but you can't be too rich or too thin

that is why

Buttercup
2013-Dec-20, 08:30 PM
If there is a next time, I'll take a photo...

Please don't go back. Any restaurant which makes average people leave a table hungry - after ordering a "full meal" - is not worth it.

They have an obligation to ensure a customer with a normal/average appetite is satisfied.

pzkpfw
2013-Dec-20, 10:18 PM
This "carrot fiasco" just reminded me of a local place, where pieces of carrot carved to look like ships would come on the plates.

Few people ate them, because often they were unsure if the ships were meant to be eaten or "just garnish"*. But the rumour was they were "recycled" to another persons plate, so people not eating them generally snapped them in half.


(* there's another place here where the hostess is famous for running out and yelling at people who eat the parsley garnish that comes on their plates).

danscope
2013-Dec-20, 11:27 PM
Hi Heidi , Not huge portions or even large portions , but perhaps we shall all agree with "Reasonable portions" .

Jeff Root
2013-Dec-20, 11:49 PM
gzhpcu,

As soon as you said you ordered "chicken breast, with
mashed potatoes with peas and carrots baked in the oven,"
I knew you had ordered the item designed for people who
won't eat nouvelle cuisine. That is, anything they haven't
eaten before. Or in other words, men who have been
dragged to the restaurant by their wives. So my guess is
that the waiter, the chef, AND the owner all knew from the
moment you ordered that you didn't belong there.

In the movie "Big Night", Secondo had to tell his older
brother, "This is a restaurant, not a cooking school."

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

.

Jeff Root
2013-Dec-20, 11:53 PM
danscope,

As I said in my first reply, different people want different
size portions. The people who operate restaurants should
understand that and accommodate it in a way that is easy
for the customer to know what to expect. That is good
service, and good service is what is being paid for at any
expensive restaurant.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

danscope
2013-Dec-21, 07:06 PM
Disappointing is a term which applies to any place that celebrates "rip off" as opposed to good food. Nuff said.
Jacques Pepin is one of the most celebrated chefs in America, and you Never see him put a miserly mouse portion on a plate .
Cuisine nouvelle doesn't fly around these parts. If you are going to charge $50 for dinner, at least feed the people.
I had dinner at the Brown Derby last month in Disney, Orlando. $50 . A nice filet mignon , mashed and a vegetable and some fresh baked rolls. Good eats.

Dan

HenrikOlsen
2013-Dec-23, 02:00 PM
Just had lunch at my local gourmet restaurant.

18902
Burger: fresh baked bun, 225g (8 oz) ground beef, cheddar, bacon, grilled green pimento, just enough rucola/arugula/rocket salad that you knew it was there and nothing else. Yummy.

Fries with a mild chili mayonnaise, no burn, just taste.

I think I eat there too much, the waiter greeted me with "Hi Henrik".
I think you understand why I return there.

DonM435
2013-Dec-23, 02:25 PM
Just had lunch at my local gourmet restaurant.

...

I think I eat there too much, the waiter greeted me with "Hi Henrik".
I think you understand why I return there.

Sounds great. And probably less than US$15, eh? Now, that's gourmet!

HenrikOlsen
2013-Dec-23, 02:34 PM
Sounds great. And probably less than US$15, eh? Now, that's gourmet!
More like $35 for that alone and then there was the wine and the starter (herring done three ways, on rye).

Eating out is expensive in Denmark.

DonM435
2013-Dec-23, 03:52 PM
Choke!

Trebuchet
2013-Dec-23, 11:40 PM
When my parents visited Denmark years ago they complained of not getting enough to eat. They actually snuck off from their hosts to go to McDonalds. Clearly they were'nt eating at the right places.

Grashtel
2013-Dec-24, 11:35 AM
(* there's another place here where the hostess is famous for running out and yelling at people who eat the parsley garnish that comes on their plates).
And they are still in business? That is the sort of thing that would make sure that I never came back even if it was happening to someone else.

NorthernDevo
2013-Dec-24, 10:38 PM
Please don't go back. Any restaurant which makes average people leave a table hungry - after ordering a "full meal" - is not worth it.

They have an obligation to ensure a customer with a normal/average appetite is satisfied.

Hear, hear.

I personally don't like it when people say so-called "Nouvelle Cuisine" restaurants serve small portions because 'it's not about the food, but the experience'. The food is the experience, or at least the primary focus of said experience. Real 4- and 5-star restaurants fill their diners up well; knowing the cost of the food is nothing to the value of a returning customer. But I'm not going to talk about it from the aspect of the diner; I'll give you the other side: the opinion of the restaurant manager.

I was the manager of my brother's restaurant a few years ago and it was a horrible experience - I will not discuss that aspect.
The place certainly wasn't nouvelle cuisine; but it was far above your average roadhouse fare: a diverse - but not too diverse - menu with items ranging from burgers to liver & onions - possibly the best meal ever ripped out of a cow - to maple-brushed salmon. A wide variety of salads and appetizers bordering on the Greek 'Meze' style of eating. Whatever I personally feel about the owner; I have to hand it to him: he was a superb chef - at one time head chef of the Rideau Club in Ottawa - and provided astonishingly tasty food. And he provided a LOT of it: the liver overhung the plate all round; floating on a cloud of potatos. The steaks were huge; there was always heaps of potatos and carrots. And heaps of returning customers. The OP made me smile because I remembered an incident - the Great Carrot Calamity as I call it now - which sort of marked the way the restaurant was going; and how it would end up.
Carrots were served 'Greek Style' - cut into chunks and boiled. It was easy to do - easier than coining or julienneing them - faster too. The carrots were a locally-grown Jumbo variety which - to my mind - were tastier than any carrot I've tried since. (Certainly nothing in the supermarket comes close.) Boiling them might sound cheap; but the lovely taste of those local carrots made up for it many times over.

One day I made the major mistake of leaving the preparation to my lead cook. I had some business to do - it was moving day. When I got to the restaurant at 4pm; I was stunned: nothing had been done. The idiot cook had shown all the drive and forethought of the average first-week dishwasher and had done nothing but wander around and complain at people, thinking he was in charge. The other cooks had completed their usual maison-place (sp?) duties and put the potatos in for boiling - bringing a pot that big up to boiling temp takes a couple hours. There were already early dinner orders coming in, and I had no carrots to offer them. The 'California medley' (combined broccoli and cauliflower) was ready, but not nearly enough. After a few well-aimed profanities, I spiced a half-tray of julienned carrots with mint and basil and threw them into the convection oven. (Julienne cutting is slow, but a good cook - and I'm a good cook - can french up a jumbo carrot in about 10 seconds flat (peeling included)). While I did that; I pulled the dessert maker off her duties and had her make the restaurant's usual carrot offering. In the meantime, I hoped my quick-fix roasted carrots would serve as a substitute.

The diners...went freakin' nuts. Absolutely insane. In a small town - and Westerose Alberta was not even close to being a town; it's just a spot where two trucking routes cross - news travels fast and shortly we had diners lined up out the freakin' door to sample the new item. My quick fix had created an even greater problem - every diner wanted the roasted carrots; not the regular ones.

When my brother - the owner and head chef - got to the place at around 9; he went nuts too. He hadn't bothered to check in earlier; even though he knew his manager - me - wouldn't be there during the day. He went out fishing instead in his new $60,000 boat. (Yes, I'm bitter.) He freaked up one side of me, down the other, fired a waitress on the spot for coming to us with a diner's complaint. What he didn't do - or allow me to do - was discipline the 'head cook' (who in my estimation wouldn't make it in a McDonalds; much less a solid 3-star like this place) for laziness, because they smoked up together. To be fair I had made the wrong decision; I should have instead gone to the tables and explained the lack of carrots - and would the lady like some more potatos instead? But in my own defence I'm not an experienced restaurant worker - my brother hired me because...let's face it...I was cheap; and highly skilled at leading people.

Er...sorry; I digressed. I'm just taking a tour down the back-alleys of memory. But the point is this:
Restaurants live or die by two things: their food, and their service. If both are excellent, the restaurant WILL thrive (assuming location, of course.) If the service is superb and the food bad; they still will excel - look at McDonald's. But if the service is poor; the restaurant will fail. Period.

Thus; I am less concerned with the OP's miniscule carrot than the waiter's response. You got tiny portions? Live with it - IMO restaurants exist firmly within the style of trading we can describe as Caveat Emptor: Let The Buyer Beware. If it's your first time there, you don't know what you're ordering; so chalk it up to experience if you don't enjoy the meal. But I would personally have fired that waiter for that kind of response. There is no excuse at all for simply repeating 'some people have a carrot allergy' over and over. The proper response (IMO) would have been "I'm sorry if you didn't enjoy your meal, sir. Is there anything I can do to help?" Customer service, customer service, customer service. In that particular case, I wouldn't have hesitated to refund the OP's meal (just his; not the table's) because customer service is far more valuable than the couple measly bucks a restaurant will make on the food.

I would like to ask the OP - had you received a good, satisfying response from the waiter, would you have considered giving that restaurant a second shot - perhaps look for something on the menu more satisfying?

(chuckle) Sorry - just couldn't help making a comment from the other side of the counter. Merry Christmas, folks!

NorthernDevo
2013-Dec-24, 10:52 PM
(chuckle) Just how many times can I say the word 'experience' in one post? Me need thesaurus... ;)

Jens
2013-Dec-25, 03:53 AM
This "carrot fiasco" just reminded me of a local place, where pieces of carrot carved to look like ships would come on the plates.


And it reminds me of a joke I heard a long time ago about nouvelle cuisine. After the meal, the waiter asks the diner,

"How did you find your steak, sir?"

"Well, I happened to pick up one of the French fries and there it was, hidden under it!"

jokergirl
2013-Dec-25, 02:50 PM
*cough* It's mise-en-place - putting things in their place, preparing things.

;)

NorthernDevo
2013-Dec-25, 08:03 PM
*cough* It's mise-en-place - putting things in their place, preparing things.

;)

Thanks so much; it was a point I always wondered about. We used the term daily, I understand the need, but didn't understand the actual term until now. As I said before I am NOT an experienced restauranteur; my life took a different path. I went into that business on my Brother's urging - HE is the experienced one, not me. If I knew more; I might have avoided what came later...but I will not discuss that. Thanks for the info. :)

NEOWatcher
2013-Dec-26, 02:16 PM
(* there's another place here where the hostess is famous for running out and yelling at people who eat the parsley garnish that comes on their plates).
And they are still in business? That is the sort of thing that would make sure that I never came back even if it was happening to someone else.
That's not always a bad thing.
We have a few out of the way "old world" type of restaurants that are kind of like that. It's not out of spite or rudeness, it's more like when your grandmother would not accept straying from the "usual way it's done". These waitresses tend to be very friendly and fun to have.

Noclevername
2013-Dec-26, 04:54 PM
And it reminds me of a joke I heard a long time ago about nouvelle cuisine. After the meal, the waiter asks the diner,

"How did you find your steak, sir?"

"Well, I happened to pick up one of the French fries and there it was, hidden under it!"

That joke predates Nouvelle Cuisine by about a century.

danscope
2013-Dec-26, 05:56 PM
"How did I find my steak?"
"Well, to begin with, we noticed that the horse was missing." :)

DonM435
2013-Dec-26, 06:29 PM
"I shifted a sprig of parsley, and, by George, there it was."