Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cafe Chic, Venetian Village, Naples, Florida

French press sandwich
Remember what I said about restaurants with nice web pages?  You know, that a really cool web page must mean that the restaurant must be decent and have it all together.  Forget about it.  Cafe Chic sounds chic, but that's about it.  Honestly if you look at the website and the menu, the place sounds really promising.  A little french cafe in the middle of an upscale shopping district right by the water.   I just wish it was as cute as I had hoped.  Since in this case it makes the most sense, let's start with ...

Normandie sandwich (made with brie)
and french cherry syrup water
What I didn't like:  I planned a midday lunch break with a friend who is also a follower of my blog.  So, I wanted to treat her to a blog-worthy experience by trying a new find.  But as my friend now knows, some of my dining experiences are not always pleasurable.  Don't get me wrong, the food was nice.  We had sandwiches on baguettes served on cute black slates.  The bread and its fillings were good.  But I should have taken the hint when the server behind the counter handed me the menu and promptly cautioned me that it was quite possible they may not have all the ingredients for anything I might order. And, true enough, there was no Camembert cheese for a Normandie sandwich (and no french onion soup either).   Luckily they had brie and the staff was willing enough to take my suggestion for the substitution.  I also ordered french syrup water, because I've never heard of it before and it sounded good.  It would have been much easier for me - and for them - if I had just stuck with soda.  They knew they had syrup and 10 kinds of it, but no one could tell me what flavors without physically handling each bottle.

My friend had a bit of an easier time with her order.  For one, she ordered soda.  (Good idea.)  She also ordered a french press sandwich.  It normally comes with tomatoes - which they promptly told her they did not have (kind of weird because my sandwich had tomatoes ...) - but luckily my friend was just about to ixnay the tomatoes anyway.   Well, not so lucky for my friend because it took a really, really, really long time for my friend to get her sandwich.  Now I don't know about you, but 20 minutes is quite a long time to wait for a sandwich.  Except when they burn your sandwich in the press the first time around.  As late as it may have been, at least she did enjoy that sandwich when she eventually got it - not burned, of course.

What I did like:  I don't mean to suggest that Cafe Chic is a complete mess.  It is a quaint little spot, with a nice selection of herbs, salts and spreads bottled for sale.  Now I know where to go when I'm looking for pink Himalayan sea salt.  And the little cafe tables are cute, good for a lunch between friends or dining solo.  Oh, and the cherry french syrup water was tasty.

How much I spent:  $12 for a sandwich and a drink.  Not bad.

My rating:  2 spoons.  Yes, I'm trying hard to think about something good to say because I don't think that this restaurant is necessarily horrible.  I just don't think this restaurant is really ready to be open.  With the missing ingredients and minimally stocked pastry case, it really did feel like we came two weeks ahead of opening day.  Maybe I should come back when they get their act together.  If they get their act together.

Cafe Chic on Urbanspoon

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