A: When the chef doesn’t visit your table? Or maybe half of the table has its back to the kitchen? Or perhaps when you’re ordering off the same menu as the rest of the restaurant?
We’d been hearing some rumblings that the chef’s table at Brasserie Beck left much to be desired. Beck’s one of our favorite restaurants so we wanted to see for ourselves if the complaints had merit. Gathering together a collection of friends, we made our chef’s table reservations hoping those complaining were wrong.
Unfortunately our experience mimicked that of the chatters on ChowHound; so much so I’m not sure it’s worth recounting our entire evening when it is so similar to the ones on that discussion. Eating at Beck’s chef’s table boils down to:
- Sitting at a table where half of the seats have their back to the kitchen;
- Placing your food order (if you’re doing one of the tasting menus) at least 4 days before you arrive. Or ordering off the same menu as the rest of the restaurant;
- Having a waiter who is working other tables, not dedicated to your table;
- Never being visited by any of the chefs or cooks;
The above description (and the ChowHound discussion) no doubt makes it sound like a very unpleasant experience. That, however, isn’t the case at all. If you are able to put it out of your mind that this is advertised as a chef’s table, something it clearly is not, you still have a great time. It’s still the same great Beck’s food, and even better, the same great Beck’s beer. The beer sommelier still makes great recommendations, and the cost is still very reasonable for all the food & drink.
Bottom line, I’d do it again if I had a group of 8-10 people looking for a fun night out where we could be loud and not worry about bothering anyone else. But I would consider it getting a semi-private table, not eating at a chef’s table.