We took Feedback—our feature in which we ask you, the diner, for a restaurant critique on the street—to a quiet, tree-lined sidewalk outside two-month-old Ici Urban Bistro, the reincarnation of Cafe 15 inside the swank Hotel Sofitel Lafayette Square. Here’s how diners at Ici (“here” in French,) rated their repast.
Lorie, catering manager
What she ate: Skewered shrimp with cocktail sauce; tandoori-chicken satay with curry-cucumber sauce; Caesar salad.
Impressions: “The service is impeccable every time I come here. It’s like a little hidden jewel to me. I’m a catering manager, so I’m very particular. The fries are presented in a miniature fry basket, which is very cute.”
Rating (on a scale of 1 to 10): 9 to 10
James and Monica, Navy captain and Starbucks manager
What they ate: Foie gras; ahi-tuna tartare; onion soup gratinée; Black Angus steak; duck breast with parsnips and carrots; crème brûlée.
Impressions: “The decor was absolutely fabulous,” said Monica. “The service was great up until the very end. They forgot pieces of our dessert. There was some confusion.”
Added James: “I also had cappuccino with dessert. That was like primo. Everybody messes that up.”
Rachel, student, and Kelly, family therapist
What they ate: Endive-and-spinach salad with walnut dressing; onion soup gratinée; Parmesan potato skins with basil-garlic mayonnaise for dipping; cheese plate; fettuccine Alfredo (made special for Rachel, a vegetarian); side of asparagus; crème brûlée; tangerine sorbet.
Impressions: “The portions were a lot bigger than we expected them to be,” said Rachel. “It was surprising because we ordered two appetizers and an entrée, and by the time we got to the entrée we had to get it to go because we were so full. . . . I had crème brûlée, and it was the best crème brûlée I’ve ever had. It had kiwi and mango and pineapple on top, and it was served with little baby madeleines.”
“The service was excellent,” said Kelly. “The only difficulty was in trying to understand the waiter when he was trying to explain the cheese to me—he had a very heavy accent. The decor didn’t take over the food.”
Rating: N/A—Rachel and Kelly were so full and ready to board the McPherson Square Metro, they took off before divulging their rating.
Have you dined at Ici? What did you think? Leave your opinion in the comments. Also, check out our past installments of Feedback: