Had an interesting experience in a restaurant the other day: There were no dishes on the menu, just “formules”. The French are big on “formules” which usually means you either get a starter and a main course or a main course and dessert for a fixed price. So when I asked what I'd get to eat the answer was “we don't work like this”.
I am still sorry I didn't follow my first impulse – get up, say “and I don't eat like this” and leave. Because it got worse. First we were asked if we were allergic to wheat, dairy, fish, meat etc. etc. What is this – a doctor's surgery? By this point I remembered a friend from New York who always used to say “I'm here to eat, not to have a conversation with you” to overly familiar waiters. Not that I'd ever dare to be that rude....
Next Madame was miffed when I wasn't in the mood for soup as a starter - “but our soups are legendary – didn't you see the Gault Millau recommendation on our door?” Yes, great, but why does that make me have to eat soup?And so on.
In all fairness, the food wasn't bad but what I really hate is when restaurants take themselves more seriously than their patrons.
What is wrong with a well thought out menu that gives a couple of choices and more importantly – lets me know in advance what I get to eat?
And don't tell me how I have to eat it! Because in this place we were told to eat the amuse bouche (a drop of kefir surrounded by five or six different herbs and salad leaves) starting on the left and working towards the right side of the plate. And I thought I'd outgrown kindergarten! Do I need to say I won't be back in a hurry?