Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Funniest Tripadvisor review ?

The funniest review of my favourite restaurant.
The reviewer is clearly gifted- hilarious recollection of an attempting meal at La Petite Maison in Nice.
It reminded me so many good memories there....

“A once in a lifetime experience...”
1 of 5 starsReviewed 27 August 2015
One immediately knows that something special awaits when, a couple of days before the big day, one calls the restaurant to confirm a reservation which has been made several weeks in advance. A sort of conversational quick-step begins when I confirm that I have a reservation, but want to double check whether it is for 8pm or 8:30pm. “What time would you like” comes the reply; “What time is the reservation for?” I respond; “Well what time would you like?” again they ask… After 2 minutes of this back and forth I confirm that our party of 5 will be there at 8pm and hang up with a growing sense of anticipation (or was it trepidation…). The day itself arrives and in our best glad-rags we made our way over to the restaurant; the follow up to the telephone tango did not disappoint. Upon arrival at the restaurant we walked through the front terrace up to the main reception whereupon I was reassured to see that, given recent terrorist activity around the world, they obviously took clients’ safety very seriously – we were greeted by a row of stony faced security personnel, cunningly disguised as waiters, who scrutinized us up and down before parting to reveal the manager, the formidable “Nicole”, described by the French press as a “personality”… With her diminutive head of security by her side, she glanced over at us and, as Emperor Titus, waived her thumb in the direction of a table delightfully situated just off the main entrance, at the foot of a large staircase, laid for 4 people. While I was particularly enchanted by the proximity to the stairwell, the view of the service hatch, and the close physical contact this location afforded us of people entering and leaving the restaurant as well as the comings and goings in the stairwell, what sold me was the fact that this was a multi-functional table featuring a large bread hamper at one end, which the waiters frequently flocked to whilst replenishing clients’ bread baskets. My party, however, were less impressed and stated that not only was the table not set up for 5, but that it was terribly located and that we would prefer another one in the room which at this stage still stood half empty (8pm). It was at this stage that we could fully appreciate the French sense of humour, so often misunderstood. Our request raised a reaction tinged with hilarity and horror. The Lady herself, followed by her diminutive minion, walked among the empty tables, pointing randomly and audibly muttering how this one was booked for “Mr Le Juge”, and the other for “Mr le Prefet”. Whilst we truly appreciated the guided tour of “who’s who” of the restaurant seating plan, this did little to help our case and, still standing in the middle of the restaurant waiting to be seated, my party were growing impatient. After a few more minutes Nicole muttered that there were no other available tables, which the minion repeated as the words had not been spoken to us directly, to which he added that this was a very good table. I am sure that Mr Le Prefet, when he finally arrived at the restaurant, asked to be moved given that our table was so much better than the one that had been earmarked for him! I do hope that Nicole did not feel slighted by our decision to turn down their kind offer of such a delightful table, I myself am rather partial to an animated dining experience and enjoy the feeling of people jostling my chair throughout a meal, watching the activity around the service hatch, and having fresh bread so readily available. I particularly appreciated the manner with which, as we were leaving the restaurant, one of the waiters uttered “see you soon” with a charming smirk on his face. As for the food, I unfortunately cannot comment on this, which is a shame given that La Petite Maison in London is one of our favourite restaurants, however if the food is on par with the service at this Nice establishment, I would go as far as saying that this is an experience which cannot be equaled...
  • Visited August 2015

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