Le Brunch Calvi Reviews
Is Corsican Hospitality just a Myth? Aug 19, 2009
Le Brunch is one of a great many small brasseries or bars serving food which can be found in Calvi. They are located around the marina and throughout the side streets of the city, the choice and variety is quite staggering. There are a few tables on the street outside the restaurant, just three on the terrace which has a great view of the marina, the majority of tables are inside.
I had just arrived in Calvi and having only just completed the Mare è Monti Nord was feeling particularly hungry. I did not however rush into making a decision on where to eat and took my time to explore what was available. I was keen to find something a little different and also some traditional Corsican cuisine.
After a little while I stumbled upon “Le Brunch” which advertised sangria on a board outside and a Corsican tapas meal. Sangria is a favourite of mine and seemed ideal to quench my thirst and enjoy the evening, this seemed the perfect combination and I opted for this pleasant looking brasserie.
I settled down at the only remaining table available on the terrace and ordered the tapas and small sangria. This arrived almost immediately and was just what I needed, fruity and fresh. The tapas arrived shortly afterwards and was pretty tasty, but I did not feel it was particularly good value. There were a few slices of meat and a couple of cheeses, and I had to request some additional bread as they only provided me with a miserly four small pieces of baguette. I enjoyed what was there but was left feeling a little hungry after finishing my meal.
I then requested a jug of the sangria as I was enjoying this immensely, but was informed by the waitress that they did not have any left. I enquired whether more would be made, and she confirmed it would so I decided to wait and persisted with my order. She returned a few minutes later and informed me that there would not be any more sangria that evening, despite it still being quite early at only 7.00 pm. I was naturally disappointed as this was the main reason for choosing this restaurant, but ordered a local beer instead.
Shortly after finishing my meal the waitress came over and enquired if I wanted my bill, I did feel a little rushed but could see people were waiting for the table, so understood the reasons for this and agreed. I even moved inside after paying to allow the other guests to sit at my now vacant table.
As I was departing however, I noticed that there was a large bowl of sangria on the bar, I was pretty annoyed by this and queried it with the waitress, she just casually informed me that it was a new batch. I then decided to speak to the chef as he appeared to be in charge, he also replied that he had just made a new batch. I pointed out that I had been informed that there would not be anymore made, he tried to suggest I had misunderstood. I was now incensed and feeling very indignant, I assured him that I had understood very clearly so then he switched to the waitress misunderstanding. I pointed out that even if she had misunderstood that it would be made but not immediately, she knew I had wanted more so why did she not inform me when it was ready, he did not have any explanation for this!
I felt at the time and still feel that I was pushed out of this restaurant to make way for further guests. The probable worry was that I would spend the evening sipping my sangria and taking up their highly sought after terrace table. I actually appreciate their dilemma, but a little more honesty and requesting me to move would have been more acceptable. The way they chose to go about ‘freeing’ up the table is totally unacceptable.
They can maybe be considered a little unfortunate that I was observant enough to spot the bowl of sangria which many others would have missed. An allegation of stupidity could also be levelled at the manager for not waiting until I had actually left to display his fresh bowl of the object of my desire.
Several days later an Italian friend of mine had also ventured into this particular brasserie, it was late afternoon and the restaurant was empty apart from a couple of tables. Initially they attempted to sit on the terrace, but were informed it was only available to guests who were dining. My friend pointed out there was not anybody there and if the table was required for dining they would immediately vacate it. The chef/manager was however insistent and they were required to move.
They tried a table out front on the street, but were again asked to move despite there being plenty of tables available throughout the restaurant. The same conversation ensued but again the result was the same. I have to admit at this stage I would have left and gone in search of another bar/cafe which actually welcomed my presence and was keen for me to spend my money on their premises.
All in all, although this restaurant seems to promise much and is certainly a pleasant looking place, the customer service however is way wide of the mark, and unfortunately I cannot therefore recommend “Le Brunch” which is a shame. There are far too many other places to eat or drink in Calvi to waste time in a bar which does not fully comprehend the importance of making their guests feel welcome.
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