One of the oldest operating restaurants in New Orleans, and generally regarded as one of the finest restaurants in the country, Galatoire’s is emblematic of fine cuisine in the Big Easy. I’ve had dozens of spectacular meals there. Unfortunately, our Revillion dinner, on Christmas eve, was not one of them. Revillion menus are set price, multi-course holiday dinners. Galatoire’s offering pays tribute to local ingredients.
As you might expect, the restaurant is extremely popular for these meals, and at this time of year, but with advance reservations, we were seated prior to our actual reservation time. All good so far.
My personal menu selections included starters of a Shrimp Scampi dish, followed by Lobster Bisque, a Beef filet with red wine reduction and creamed spinach, and a flan-like dessert.
The “Scampi” was an interesting approach to the traditional prep, with a number of hot, seasoned, shrimp perched atop a piece of crispy bread that had been marinated in shrimp and butter liquids. Very nice.
The soup arrived, and the four of us at the table received a wide range of temperatures for the soup – unfortunately, the range started at tepid and went all the way down to cold. Any attempts to get the server’s attention to get new, hot servings, fell on deaf ears. She made a major server faux pas at this point, and said she was busy with a “very large table.” Tsk. Tsk.
The entrees arrived prior to the return of the soup, and they too, were room temperature. They were probably plated beautifully in the kitchen, but the server had apparently jiggled them enough en route that the wine reduction had splashed all over the plates.
By that point, we had given up trying to convince the server to rectify matters, and (reluctantly) said a word to the manager, “Billy,” who offered to “make things right,” to our satisfaction.
Two soups reappeared, and oddly, they kitchen had just nuked the partially eaten soups instead of sending a new serving. Soup has splashed and dried along the inside of the bowl, and wasn’t very appetizing in appearance.
Billy reappeared, and his solution to the experience was to shower us with as many cocktails and desserts as we cared to consume. We indulged, but didn’t take advantage, of course.
He also sent around a “prepared table side” special flaming coffee for the whole party. Nice effort, but too little too late.
He did step up with the bill tho, and whacked about 25% off the tab, which was unexpected. So the Revillion dinner for four with cocktails, desserts, after dinner drinks, came out to about $240. A good value for Galatoire’s and for the season.
Will I return? Absolutely – as I said at the top, I’ve had dozens of great meals here. Most diners at the restaurant are used to being waited on by servers that have worked their for decades, and maybe our person (who was young) was new, and to her, it was just a job.
Galatoires Revillion Fail