One of my best friends, Caucasian, French-Canadian in his early 60th, married to a dark-skinned African woman made a reservation for 4 to have dinner at this French & Portuguese restaurant. I’m an Afro-Canadian, retired Executive from the Petroleum Industry. This background is important to...understand my review.
My friend, who is still working and living in Africa spends a few weeks a year in Montreal. As for me, after a long career in Canada and overseas, I elected to retire in Florida with my wife but we try to spend the month of July in Montreal as well.
My friend told me that he has been to that restaurant before and highly told me about a famous waiter who, over the past 4 decades has served people like Charles Aznavour, Guy Lafleur, Mireille Mathieu, The Beatles etc…
Since it was my last evening in Montreal and I didn’t have a chance to see my friend and his wife, I was looking forward to seeing them and share a great meal in their company. In fact I was his best man when he got married and I helped him tremendously in the real estate in Florida.
That evening turned to be my worst nightmare in a restaurant. The famous waiter, Anthony is 69 with an outstanding track record of serving celebrities should retire now and spends his time doing other things. The landscape has changed but not him.
My wife and I have never been treated that way in any restaurant around the world.
1. From the beginning, when we mentioned the humility of Pope Francis, he told us bluntly that he is not a real Pope. To him, the real Pope was Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger). I told him Ratzinger was the opposite because of his extravagant luxury taste. He believed this is the way a Pope should behave. Although I disagreed but I respected his opinion.
2. After my friend introduced me to Mr. Celebrity Waiter, I mentioned the name of the 2 Universities where my wife and I graduated. He didn’t wait a split second to remind me about the bad reputation of my University. I knew right away the evening was going to be long.
3. Ordering wine: my wife wanted to try a good Portuguese white wine close to a French Chardonnay similar to a Pouilly Fuissé. The way he answered me was as if I didn’t know what I was talking about. He was very insulting.
4. Serving wine: During the 2 hours we were there, systematically, whenever our glasses were empty, he would pour in my glass half of what he poured in my friend’s glass. Both of us were drinking red wine. He would wait when both glasses are empty before he would come over to pour more wine. I didn’t exist. His job was to entertain and please my friend. We were mere accessories. Since he noticed which one of the 2 black women was my friend’s wife, he had done the same thing to my wife i.e. more wine in my friend’s wife glass. This pattern was repeated not once or twice but many times. My wife and I were commenting about it all along the time.
5. Stereotyped comments: When my friend told Anthony that he worked in Africa with me (we met in Africa but both of us were raised in Montreal), he immediately started to brag about the fact that he has served the son of Léopold Sédar Senghor, the former President of Senegal in West Africa. He assumed right away that I was, may be, a poor African who is invited to this restaurant by his rich white friend. Anthony completely ignored me and my wife all the way. We don’t deserve this kind of attitude in a such cosmopolitan city in 2022.
6. After dinner drink: My wife asked him if he has a great Armagnac he could recommend. Of course, he said yes. He brought in a VS Armagnac, which is lowest grade Armagnac money can buy. When I asked him for an XO or at least a VSOP. He told me that’s all he has. I found him so arrogant and so self-centered that he turned me off to the point that I refused to order any dessert or after-dinner drink or even a coffee. I was ready to leave.
7. No attention to detail: At a certain moment, I was getting so annoyed that I told him I’ve worked or visited more than 75 countries and I’m a wealthy retired Executive. He still continued to treat me the same way. This is very sad. He even told my friend, in our presence, that he likes serving people like him. I assume my friend told him who he was the 1st time Anthony has served him.
During the conversations, I found out that he is of German origin and he prefers serving celebrity customers. He didn’t realize that I could have bought the restaurant just to fire him and sell it back for $1.
4 decades of serving in a restaurant and Monsieur Anthony is still doing the same job today. His greatest satisfaction is to have served a myriad of celebrities.
40 years ago, I was a University student in Montreal. In 40 years, I went from a student to a CFO and President for 1 of the largest multinational companies in the world.
The landscape has changed in 40 years. If Anthony doesn’t retire, he will cause a lot of damage to the restaurant because of his condescending attitude. In 2022, we (my wife and I) refuse to be treated as 2nd class citizens.
We will never go back to that restaurant if Mr. Celebrity Waiter is still working there and, we will let everyone know how we were treated.More