Tapeo MontrealPosted By Jennifer Ho Jun 09 2011 · 0 comments · Dining Out
Before you start reading this post, let me warn you, it does get a little personal. To give Tapeo some credit, this was my second time there and the service wasn’t half as bad the first time. The food? About the same.
Even with a reservation, we were made to wait twenty five minutes. In response to our irritation, as it was my parents twenty fifth anniversary dinner, the manager took on a surprisingly defensive attitude and told us that the reservation we made for the night was actually written in the calendar for the next night, and that he decided not to tell us and “let us in anyway”. So really, what he was saying was that he was doing us a favor. The restaurant business is a part of the service industry and what that means is serving and treating your customers well, that is, if you want to have a lucrative business. On top of this, the first thing our server said to us was that the waiting we had to do earlier was not his fault, that it was a problem at the front, which had absolutely nothing to do with him. This felt contrived, disingenuous and very much like he was looking out for his own tip at the end of the night. As soon as my mother mentioned that I had a blog, to me it seemed as if he immediately checked himself and warmed up to us very quickly.
While the service was the weakest point of the entire experience last night, there were some high points with the food. The beef tartare for example, was fantastic. Mixed with alfalfa sprouts and thinly sliced potatoes, the dish was put together beautifully. The fideos was an interesting take on angel hair pasta, and the saffron aioli was something that I’ve only ever tasted at Tapeo. Other dishes were okay – they didn’t blow me away but weren’t terrible either. The calamari was very basic, nothing out of the ordinary. I didn’t feel as they did anything different with it – you could get the same almost anywhere else. The paella had some amazing chorizo in it, but the overall dish felt as if it was missing something…
The tapas bar is chic, sleek and elegantly decorated and the architecture of the place is quite aesthetically pleasing. The plating of the food is half of the fun of eating at Tapeo – each dish has clearly been conceptualized from a visual point of view as well as thought out flavor-wise. Despite the service, I have to be honest and say the food is quite good. Being one of the few Montreal tapas restaurants, I regret to say that for me, the combination of the somewhat inconvenient location and the bad service has turned me off of this restaurant for the foreseeable future.[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157626795064919″]
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