Maybe there’s a right way to do Dersou, one that involves sharing a sixty-day aged steak and a bottle of Crozes-Hermitage, as the happy couple next to us was doing at 11pm. We who had signed up from the tasting menu – offered for 90€ from 7:30-9pm, were less pleased. Chef Taku Sekine’s food – a series of five inventive, generous and mostly delicious plates, each paired by with a cocktail from barman Amaury Guyot, is not well-enough supported by an adolescent staff that seems to be more enthralled with their own vibe than with the banality of service.
Lazare was the biggest opening of the rentrée 2013 – a splashy restaurant from a three-star chef inside the Gare Saint-Lazare. Eric Fréchon, who has been branching out from his home base of L’Epicure (formerly Le Bristol) ever since he opened Le Mini Palais in 2010, was purportedly serving Normandy-inflected comfort food to travelers en route to that region or arriving from the other side of Paris. Reviews had been ecstatic, praising the menu as “glorieusement française,” (Gaudry), noting the “friendly, professional service” (Moore) and celebrating the casual openness of the place (Rubin).
In nine years of dining in Paris and writing about its restaurants, this was the worst service I have ever experienced. It was shockingly, almost comically bad.