Editor’s note: Today’s blog is more of a story than a review, so get comfy and gather round…
This is arguably the worst dining experience I’ve ever had–and everyone I tell is outraged, too. So get your indignant cap on.
A group of 5 of us went to Pigalle in Hell’s Kitchen for Saturday brunch. The food wasn’t good, but that’s not the point of this story. I ordered a frisee salad with tomatoes, bacon, and a poached egg and a side of fries–and I asked for hollandaise to dip my fries in (if you’ve never done that, try it!).
When the check came, I was annoyed to see they charged me $2 for the hollandaise sauce. Granted, $2 is not a ton of money, but it was a tiny canister of sauce, and they never told me there would be a charge. I asked the server why he charged me, and he immediately got defensive and said, “Don’t get mad at me; the manager told me to.” So I asked the manager to come over.
And that’s when things went downhill, and fast.
She tried to justify the charge as a side order, but I argued that they never told me there would be a charge, nor did it say it anywhere on the menu. She explained that since I asked for an extra condiment, there was a charge. To which I said, “Well, if that’s your logic, why didn’t you charge me for the ketchup? Because we had to ask for that, too.” She was clearly unhappy, but took off the charge.
Then we each tried to put our cards in to pay, and the server told us they had a two-card maximum. Um, what? Since when do restaurants in NY in this day and age put a max on the number of credit cards they accept? I’ve never run into that problem elsewhere. So the manager came back on over.
And that’s when things got truly ugly.
We argued that, again, we hadn’t been told at the beginning of the meal that there was a maximum on the number of credit cards, nor did it say it anywhere on the menu. She said we should have asked. We said that was ridiculous, and then she leaned in and said, “Listen, let me tell you something about eating in restaurants.” Oh no. You could practically see the steam coming out of our ears at that point. We didn’t want to cause a scene, though, so we just stopped her right there, grabbed the check, and borrowed money from each other to pay cash.
We were all so taken aback by how condescending she was, and my friend Dana went up to her with our money to say we had never experienced this kind of treatment in a restaurant. She told Dana to calm down (which, as we all know, is the WORST thing to say to someone), which is then when Dana got really upset. She told her she was appalled by how she was treating us, and the manager told her we were acting like children. Dana informed her we would never be back, and we were on our way.
Have you ever been treated so poorly in a restaurant? The level of customer service obviously differs from place to place, but I’ve never had someone be so immediately antagonistic and rude. Needless to say, we won’t be back. And I highly recommend you never go, either.
Pigalle, www.pigallenyc.com, 790 8th Avenue, New York, NY, 212-489-2233