on March 17, 2013
As I sit here writing, I find myself chuckling and appreciating the rather comic aspect of the dinner my girlfriend and I experienced at Gaglio on Valentine's Day. There were so many elements of it that were unbelievably bad that I feel there is nothing else for it but to smile wryly and chuckle. However, as I parted with over 100Euros for dinner and my girlfriend and I had our evening ruined by the hapless attempts at fusion cuisine, I am also just a little bit angry.As it was Valentine's Day and we were in search of something special, we booked Gaglio in advance. It was not possible to order a la carte. We were therefore limited to the Valentine's Day menu, which was 35 Euros per person. We presumed this would be great as Gaglio is a beautifully decorated and stylishly designed restaurant on the edge of Nice's Old Town that always seems to be rammed with customers – based on my experience I guess these customers only go once.When we arrived, we were initially impressed at the ambience. The contemporary decorative style was very nice and it had a relaxed yet intimate feel. However, after that, everything was awful. I do not want to sound like I am a grouch, but I really cannot find many positive things to say. To put my level of criticism into sharp contrast, I would argue that I probably sit at the overly-positive end of the spectrum. My girlfriend regularly chastises me for being too lavish in praise and for over-tipping in restaurants she deems merely adequate. In short, if a place angers me this much, it must be bad.For the starter, my girlfriend received a very lavishly prepared foie gras. She loves foie gras, so was excited. She shouldn't have been. Whereas it should be a rich luxurious dish, this one was weak and lacked any form of substance. I received shrimp in avocado sauce served on top of scrambled eggs. This did not sound bad at the start. However, when I found eggs laced with fish and the avocado sauce doused with various undefined spices, I was unable to continue eating.The main course proved to be even worse. I received a magret de canard (Sliced duck) served in a rich French sauce. On its own this would have been nice. However, it was ruined by the chef adding Thai noodles with a curried sauce on top. The two parts of the dish clashed irrevocably and I was forced to scrape the noodles on to a side plate. That was bad, but the plate that was set in front of my girlfriend could not really be described as food. It featured a bright yellow Thai sauce that was riddled with curry and spice, served over boiled fish that had seemingly been cooked in olive oil. It left a tangy, spicy, greasy mess that no-one could ever eat. We sent ours back and spotted five other couples doing the same.I spent 100 Euros at Gaglio. It was a complete waste and was possibly the worst meal I ever ate.
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