Respond to Review of Gentle Gourmet Cafe
Review: I really want this place to succeed. Paris could really use a place like this. I was so excited to hear about it, and after reading the reviews my expectations were high. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to them. It's not bad - but it's not great either. The ambiance is great and the place looks classy. The toilets are down a narrow staircase on which someone else slipped, not good if you have mobility problems. The menu was somewhat limited, not helped by the fact that several dishes were unavailable. The food we had was quite good - not amazing, but decent. I had a savoury galette which was rich but tasty. However, I was disappointed that it lacked the promised salad it should come with and that other diners had received. I like salad and had ordered an additional salad; it was very ornately presented, but drowning in dressing. Rather than offsetting the richness of my dish, it added to it and left me feeling queasy. My co-diner had a "croque monsieur" which he described as two pieces of toast with vegan cheese and ham inside - tasty, but not a "croque monsieur" as such. We finished off with chocolate crepes which were quite nice but needed more oomph. What really let this place down was the service. After we were seated, we were completely ignored. After about five minutes I had to call the waitress over to ask if we could actually see the menu! She then cleaned our table (still dirty from the previous diners) before bringing the menu. We were given a jug of water, but had to ask again to get glasses to drink it. The biggest problem was that our food did not come at the same time. My main course arrived first; my co-diner's side dish came about 6 minutes later; his main course another 4 minutes later; and my salad about 12 minutes after my main dish. A 10 minute gap between serving the meals of two people sat together is unacceptable. I waited for him and mine had gone cold by the time his arrived. They did not apologise. I saw that all the other diners had the same experience, suggesting that this is normal practice here. They never laid the table properly and brought our cutlery out after our food. They did bring us a couple of small free tasters of things, which was a nice touch. But overall, this was an expensive meal that was ruined by poor service, a limited menu and food that was less good than other places we have eaten in Paris. I hope this is just teething problems, but I doubt we'll go back to find out.