Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Chez Laurence

Murray Hill, NY

Review by Susu, ThePlazaQueen, MaceVindaloo, Rosie, SteakGril, Diana, Wraith6, Runt, Farklempt, with guest star: GlenGrrl

Some of us are unsure why we keep coming here. The food is usually good, the service is always stupid. Maybe it's the pretty bistro-ness of the place, or that it's not pricy. This time, we all needed a place in midtown to congregate, since we were all over the city today, and this seemed convenient, being that the afternoon activities included going to the United Nations. And Chez Laurence is reliable one way or the other, good or bad.

We had a pretty woman from somewhere in Central Europe as our waitress, but unfortunately either her English was poor, or maybe she just had a poor grasp of what waitresses are supposed to do. All our orders were out except one ... because, "I'm sorry, they are out of ham and cheese, would you like something else?" Isn't it the server's job to ensure your order can be filled? Restaurants commonly run out of stuff and the kitchen staff lets the waitstaff know. Either the kitchen staff were dumb or the waitress was dumb; we don't care which it was, it was unacceptable. I ordered a tuna melt, and I somehow missed that it was on a croissant ... yuck what a bad idea, and this croissant was horrible -- chewy, old, and burnt. The tuna was tasteless and the cheese was simply ... old. The waitress didn't understand me and just avoided our table when I complained.

Everyone else enjoyed their food, including the steak frites and what we have dubbed "the Jacques Torres says You're Gonna Die sandwich" -- during a cooking demonstration and lecture he pointed out that a croissant is 33% butter ... "And if you make it into a sandwich with good ham and excellent cheese ... you're going to die!" Or variations thereof, like a cordon bleu, which is chicken, ham and cheese (brie, in this case). For starters, most of us ordered paté platters (both foie gras and paté de campagne) served with incredibly delicious brioche points. One of us embarked on the onion soup and declared it "good." So really, the tuna melt was a bad choice, should have ordered something else. (What was I thinking, ordering an American diner sandwich in a pseudo-French bistro???)

So if you're with good enough company, the lousy service can be overlooked. The food is generally good, but stick to the Frenchy stuff, okay?

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