Dinner on the Freeway. Every dining establishment is obviously faced with the decision of how to maximize space while maintaining a pleasant dining experience. Voila's line in the sand was a very disappointing experience for my party of 4 dinner last night. The unpleasantness was compounded by a bit of French "profiling" that ushered my son and his girlfriend to an obviously uninhabitable table meant for two and along the freeway of the only access to the kitchen, when they had arrived before us and before the group of 3 that was given a larger table meant for 4. The manager Laurent did a nice job of feeling sorry for us but when I pointed up the fact that we had a reservation and had arrived earlier, he responded by saying the other table was for four as well. We spent the dinner watching only three people spread out at the larger table. I suppose our two bottles of L'ecole and bill totaling nearly $300 might have Laurent feeling he bet on the wrong scenario but the point is that the table we were given should never have been assigned to 4 people much less be placed along the kitchen walk. We were forced to put wine glasses on butter plates, couldn't even move the side dishes to get access, and endured the moving floor and whirling staff throughout. The kicker was when Laurent told me that "next time" we should be careful to make sure we don't get table 7 or 8 as they are the two along the staff freeway. There are many nice restaurants in Madison Park and the food was not bad at Voila but do yourself a favor and don't roll the dice. There are establishments that have solid standards when it comes to providing an enjoyable dining experience. Voila is not one of them.
Hamburger Addiction. It's weird to write a review about a French restaurant and talk about a hamburger. I have to tell you though, it's the best I've ever had. It starts with 7 ounces of Kobe beef with melted brie, sauteed onions, butter lettuce, and tomato situated on a tasty bun served with french fries of course. This hamburger has addictive qualities and I find myself craving one regularly. I'm hoping it doesn't ever disappear from the menu. Classic french dishes prepared traditionally and presented without a lot of fuss such as coq au vin and cassoulet are also found here. Specials of the day vary which keeps it exciting. I find the menu at Voila! is one that you will either like or love!
Disappointing flavors..... I'm disappointed at Voila. I had ordered the Belgium endive salad and the Boeuf Bourguignon...both were so disappointing that I will not be going back. The salad is bitter and the Boeuf is not tender at all. I was so surprised to see that the beef is nothing more than stew meat that you would buy from the grocery store. I was expecting nicer cuts of beef at this fine establishment. Highly over-rated.
From Pleased to Disappointed. Went to this restaurant a few times with family and were pleased, however it seems the quality of this restaurant has significantly declined lately. One visit we arrived at 8:30 and were turned away even though the hours posted showed they were open. We were told "the kitchen is trying to close since it has been slow all evening". The next time we went with a group of friends. Several of us who ordered the same dish were sick the next day. We contacted the restaurant to inform them this occurred, and they never responded. As a result of these experiences, we will not be dining there again.
SO sad it has slipped (Voila). This is a restaurant I I loved since the day it opened. I went back on Halloween after a six month hiatus and it had totally changed. I know it is the same owner, because I spent half the evening tryiing to get his attention about the food, thinking he would be concerned, but I was wrong. He was chatting with a girl and could not be bothered with silly customer complaints. After a 50 minute wait for my entree (which was cold) I flagged down my harried server,(which seemed strange, as the restaurant was almost empty) who took it away and told me they would "heat it up" which I think means nuke it in restaurant language. It came back rubbery and when I flagged the owner down at this point and explained, I felt bad for putting him out. My food was recooked and served to me 20 minutes later more rubbery and with more salt. I didnt eat and they never came back to ask how it was. This WAS a great place but based on the food and service there are far better now. I will not go back to a place that makes me feel like a pest for wanting good food, and timely or even average, service...
a little heart attack everytime.
My meals are so rich here that I always feel on the verge of a heart attack for half an hour after dining. The ambience is nice and the food sumptuous (if a teensy bit pricy. plates do not come with sides either!). I would avoid their average Coq au Vin but the porc loin is delicious, as is the salmon (but very, very rich!) and the escargots. I also adore their yummy salads and the creme brulee is all you could ask a creme brulee to be: delicious and creamy, delicate but full. And very affordable dessert, too, at only $6 a pop. Voila does have a prix fixe special on wednesday nights ($25 for a three course meal) but the owner looks at you a bit funny for being a cheap-arse (even though they prominently market their prix fixe special) and you know he'd rather you not order it.
Still, I adore Voila and will go back (though not too frequently as my heart would explode!).
Wonderfully Frenchy!. Not only is the food authentic to real French cuisine, all of the staff speak French at this charming little bistro located at the bottom of First Hill. The flavors fun, creative and always tasty! This is a wonderful spot for drinks, dining out with friends, lovers of all things French, or even for a casual date.
Great place for a cold and rainy night.
Not sure what it is, but everytime we visit Voila it seems to be raining... but what a great place for those nights ( and we sure do have a few of them). A warm and inviting bistro where its really worth hanging at the bar for that elusive Saturday night table. If its after 7 forget it... but you can generally grab a small table from 5.30-6.30 without reservations.
Check out the garlic fries.. and must with every dish (just remember to share with your fellow diners), the cheese plate is always interesting and varied. Forget about ordering a glass of wine... you'll end up ordering at least 2 anyway so go for the bottle. Cassoulet is typically on the menu during fall and winter and its a mighty plate after a day outside. Not perfect, but for the price, a great opportunity to unbutton your pants as you waddle to your car. If you're looking for cheap, homely, Bistro food with plenty of flavor check out Voila.
Moules frites and other bistro classics join the thriving restaurant scene in Madison Valley..
This neighborhood restaurant mirrors a Parisian bistro; settings are simple and oversized posters for French spirits adorn the walls. A few patrons and staff conversing in French heightens the authenticity, and the old jazz and pleasant service provide the finishing touches for a convivial night out. In the spring and summer, diners can enjoy a meal in the back garden.
The kitchen prepares moderately priced French dishes that Americans are accustomed to--from the rich stew of beef Bourguignonne to onion soup. For a zingy starter, choose the heart of palm with fennel. A tender rare steak and the hanger cut served in a shallot sauce hits the spot, although the coq au vin in a wild mushroom sauce can lack tenderness. But the moules frites takes the prize with its plump Alaskan mussels in a broth uniquely seasoned with fine blue cheese.
Exquisite neighborhood bistro. After several meals here I can say that this is one of Seattle's gems - you almost feel like you've been transported to Paris. Salads use market-fresh and in-season ingredients. Escargots are cooked flawlessly and served on toasted slices of baguette in the best butter and garlic sauce I've tasted. Salmon in a tangy lemony buerre blanc was moist and delectable, and the coq au vin was so tender it slid off the bone. Deserts are a highlight here - a rich pot de creme was silky and had a light taste of coffee beans; the creme brulee was so perfectly creamy we had to try hard not to order a second. We love the neighborhood atmosphere of this place. It's always lively and the perfect mini-vacation to Paris.
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