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Dishes in a Michelin-starred restaurant. SUR
Michelin grouch

Michelin grouch

A unique and hopefully non-repeatable experience

ANDREW J. LINN

Friday, 10 February 2023, 11:32

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One of life's disappointments, particularly for foodies and/or readers of this column, is to visit a hyped-up restaurant and leave totally disillusioned.

It happened the other day at a Michelin-starred restaurant east of Marbella. What was anticipated to be an eight-course gourmet trip turned out to be a disaster. It reminded me of the recent experience of two lady friends at another Michelin destination where the set menu was 395 euros. Asking the sommelier for wine recommendations the reply was, "For ladies like you I suggest a white Chardonnay". Ladies like who? Typecasting is a no-no. And when a truffle-condimented dish was pronounced tasteless, the reply was, 'Well, truffles are not in season so why order them?'

Back to the so-called gourmet dinner. I am not vegetarian so why serve me a vegetarian meal, relieved only by a minute sliver of salmonete - with more boring vegetables - as a final touch?

I would love to have been able to say, "Excuse me, are there any fish or meat dishes on the menu?", but when one is invited there are certain courtesies to be observed. At least, that is, until the waiter starts telling you what you can or cannot eat.

Asking for some bread, I was courteously informed that it would be served "with a later course". I wonder what would have been the reaction had I asked for salt or pepper.

The wines were undeniably noteworthy, as in, "If the wines being served are new to you, just shut up and drink them."

A unique and hopefully non-repeatable experience.

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