OK, I admit I was a total slut for Bastille, the new Seattle french restaurant. But after a short but abusive relationship, I’m pretty much over it.
For the fourth time in two weeks, I was refused dinner service. This time, I was sitting at the bar. After failing to get the bartender’s attention for about an hour, I finally asked if I could order their chicken dinner and was told that I could only order from the bar menu.
Here is what Bastille needs NOW (like last week):
1. A back bar in the kitchen for filling orders of wine, champagne, beer, carafes, etc. There is no reason these orders are being filled at the front bar, where the bartenders don’t have the time.
2. The bartenders filling orders for the dining room means there is poor service for people sitting at the beautiful zinc bar.
3. Not that you would want to because you don’t have the space, but you can’t order off the extensive dinner menu at the bar. And since they won’t seat you in the dining room absent a reservation and, you know, lagniappe, then you are fucked. Six times visiting this place and I still haven’t had a full meal entree there.
4. Basically, only a few people can eat off the menu posted on the front window because you can’t get a seat. So nice menu. Too bad it is kind of a bait and switch situation.
5. This is an extremely loud restaurant even when it is quiet. WHY ARE THEY PLAYING MUSIC IN THE BACKGROUND??!!
6. If they are really going to be a sports bar, they need another TV.
7. Live music out on the patio tonight. Too bad almost no one could hear it because it was only outside!! The outside tables are set far apart, so there are fewer of them. What a waste. Although there were several empty tables. Reserved I suppose. No one asked if I wanted to sit there. This is just a colossal management fuck up.
8. Bastille Day should have been the biggest day yet. But they have been successful at keeping the customers away in this ‘soft opening’ (I thought that was a sex position?) The place was not full and still the staff was barely able to manage. They don’t have a first string wait staff and I can kinda see why now. Are the better waiters staying away? Do they know something?
9. The Bastille authentically recreates that Paris feel: bad and surly service, abusive wait staff and bartenders. Ignores singles totally. Singles have to sort of elbow their way in. But good food so everyone ignores the bad service.
Except Seattle has many excellent french restaurants where you don’t have endure abuse; Viola, Cafe Presse, Le Pichet, Anita’s, 911 Supreme, etc. I appreciate Bastille has spent a butt load of money and created a wonderful environment. But this restaurant is going in the wrong direction, getting worse each week instead of better. C’est la vie.