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Harlequin Cafe

8047 N Agnes

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Detail for Harlequin Cafe : Restaurant, French

Located in Detroit's Historic Village; authentic European 30's decor. Elegant French dining. Piano bar also. - sys, 12/26/1999

A highly-acclaimed new restaurant by GQ and locals alike, enjoy eating in Detroit's only French restaurant with nightly entertainment. Open for lunch Tues - Fri 11:30 am - 3 pm; dinner served Tues - Thurs 4:30 pm - 10 pm, Sat - Sun 4:30 pm - 11 pm; Sunday brunch 11 am - 3 pm. Champagne bar open Fri - Sat until 2 am. - alotta, 12/15/2001

I had not seen or read any review for the Harlequin Cafe prior to my visit last night, so I went in with no expectations one way or another. Since then, I've looked online for other patrons' reviews to see if my horrible experience was unique. Judging by the reviews on this site and elsewhere, I have to say not. This visit was unpleasant in so many ways that I had to constantly ask myself if I was missing something. Maybe this was the way fine dining was supposed to be and I just didn't get it. Our visit was similar to all of the others described negatively on this board: slow or no service, different food delivered than what was ordered, requests ignored, items way overpriced. First, when we arrived, the owner/manager/chef/waiter (we never really knew who he was because he never introduced himself) was kicked back comfortably at the bar (at first I thought he was a customer). It seemed that he had been drinking there for some time, based on his demeanor. Much later, when no one had presented us with the bill about 30 minutes after we finished our meal, I left the table to seek out someone to accept our payment. I found the chef/waiter at the bar again, even more under the influence. I would not have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. I don't have the time to elaborate on the dozens of ways that this experience was unpleasant. I honestly don't understand how this establishment remains in business. - Francis S, 02/25/2006

Where do I even begin. I wish I had read those other reviews BEFORE I went here. I took my wife here for her birthday and it was one of the worst dining experiences we have ever had. The service was incredibly slow and my water had a fruitfly in it. I figured it would be best to ignore it... until I saw the roach crawling on the cabinet next to our table. After killing it, I had the uneasy feeling that the night was going to get worse... sure enough. Our food took forever to cook- and we were the ONLY ones in the restaurant. Our food finally came, and it was OK, but after the fly and roach, I could only wonder what was back in the kitchen. Plus, our bill came to 96.00- for pop, appetizer and 2 main courses. To top it off it took our waitress 20 minutes to swipe the credit card and get a receipt. She couldn't figure it out, neither could the server and finally chef had to come and do it. For that price I expect no bugs, prompt service, competent waitstaff, and an excellent meal. Moral of the story-- don't eat here. - jpolderman, 07/12/2004

I thought that perhaps we were on Candid Camera! This restaurant is a shame to Detroit! We (a party of 6) had reservations at 7:00...our meal was served at 11:30...YES 11:30. We were seated on time, received our first round @ 7:45. Stale, re-heated bread was served at 8:00. French Onion Soup - Campbell's brand is GOURMET in comparison, Appetizers were so-so...then came the World Famous - from heaven above wilted spinach salad. This completely SUCKED! The dressing which was to be served warm was cold and tasted as if it was 100% vinegar. IT was now 9:30 and we waited and waited...being in good company of friends we all privately tried to remain patient...then by 10:30 we noticed many of the patrons (mind you the place was packed - obviously with first timers) were not served either. One table of 6 complained which started a domino effect...they finally left and were fowlled by 2 other tables. No one tried to stop them or apologize. Many of the other tables started making comments like 'Is Lafayette open?' & 'Let's have a lottery to see who is served first' fools though we all sat waiting for food. I was scared to complain - perhaps the owner, chef, waiter guy who is SO SO Full of himself would spit in our food...boy is this guy a bragger...what a name if Carmen Harlen waited for her meal as long as any of the 30 + guests all obvioulsy from the suburbs... We were finally served at 11:30 ish. The entire restuarant was so happy for us...many tried to bribe us for our food since they feared that they would be waitng another hour or 2. A few even applauded! The meals were served without a smile and were all screwed up. My Tenderloins of Steer w/ Diane Sauce was comparable to a 'Banquet' Brand Boil in a Bag Roast Beef meal of which my mother would serve in a pinch on bread many many years ago. My request of Med Rare was Med Well. The Diane sauce was BLAH BLAH! My husband ordered the Famed Chicken that is so like that it could float was comparable to a plain jane chicken breast thrown on the George Foremans grill...needless to say it was not tender and lacked any flavor. It did not float... Having nibbled on my meal I turned to my husband and insisted that he request the another 20 minutes later we receivedd a messed up bill...with attitude! No apologies from the server person. As we left many of the patrons were right behind us - on empty stomachs. I was honest in expressing my feelings on the meal to many patrons were still waiting for their grub at what was not 12:10. This restuarant is an embarrassment to all minority owned resturants and to the city of Detroit as well. Of all the wonderful places to dine is our great city of Detroit why did we pick this one? Paul...if you read this you do not get to pick the resutrant for many years! If you go here....plan on 4 hours min, Ram's Horn Quality and service with the mentality of a 10 year old. The bathroons were dirty. Also, our white russian cocktails were served with curtled12904 - Debby, 02/03/2003

A group of associates and myself had the unfortunate experience of dining at this restaurant on Saturday night, December 14, 2002. By the end of the evening, we discovered that there isn't enough ambiance to cover up obnoxious behavior and ordinary food. Our group reserved our table on Tuesday, December 10, 2002. A party of four arriving at 5: 30 p.m.. During the conversation when making reservations I had informed your staff that the party I was accompanying was to attend a performance at the DSO beginning at 8:30 p.m. later that evening and impressed upon them the time table we would be under. On Friday, a different member of our group called and confirmed the reservations. Again, the person from our party discussed the time limitation we were under and the second staff member confirmed dinner should take an hour and a half, and we were reserved for 5:30. We arrived and were the first party at the restaurant that evening around 5:25 p.m.. We were seated promptly, and given water. The atmosphere was very beautiful, as was the jazz music that softly played around us. Shortly thereafter an additional couple was also seated in the restaurant. Our party was then approached by the owner for a drink order, when he returned he told us he didn't have the type of beer we ordered but he brought Heiniekins instead. Then we listened to the menu he had prepared for the evening. About 6 p.m. he came to the table and took our orders. The party ordered two salmon appetizers, and a mushroom appetizers, and our respective meals. Between the 40 minutes it took to take our order and receive our appetizers, our table was not acknowledged by any staff member for additional drinks. When the appetizers arrived, we made another drink order which failed to ever arrive. The salmon appetizers were sub-par, lacking in flavor, and the mushroom appetizer could have been taken straight from the shelf at a grocery store. None of the appetizers were especially tasty. However, at this point we were still not completely dissatisfied. During our appetizers, other tables filled up within the restaurant and he came out to describe the menu for the evening for those tables that did not have the benefit of hearing the first time. During the second rendition, a particular table had questions and began to ask them. Instead of acknowledging the question that the patrons had, he began to chastise them in front of the whole restaurant. Stating how rude they were, scolded them, and saying they were akin to 'those annoying individuals seated behind you at the Fox Theatre stating what is going to happen next in the play before it actually happened'. He then asked them not to further interrupt the presentation. The treatment of that table was rude, inexcusable, disrespectful, and extremely unprofessional. Apparently they thought so as well, because once he had finished your presentation they left, before even ordering. Our table was extremely disappointed with the way he handled the situation but were still anticipating our meals. Shortly thereafter, our appetizer plates were taken away and we tried to order drinks once again to no avail. Our party then received the salads. Again, the consensus at the table was that the salads could be considered 'alright', but not 'great', not really even 'good' just 'alright'. Shortly after our salads were taken away, we finally got more drinks. Then our party waited until 7:30, still no one in the restaurant had received their main meal. Then the table after us received their meal, so we figured ours was on the way too. By 8:00 we had to cash out our bill and leave without ever getting our main meal to make sure we could make it to the DSO on time. We spoke with the party that did receive their main meal and they were not very satisfied with that either. Our total bill came to $53.00, for three mediocre appetizers and a couple rounds of drinks. We had to go to the DSO on empty stomachs, after waiting two and a half hours for dinner. The average food, the terrible service, the unbearable waiting, even compounding all those aspects of our experience together, do not amount to the level of dis-taste that was achieved by the despicable treatment of the customers. I may not be able to comment on the culinary expertise, since I never received my meal, I can however state with certainty, he should have opted to spend some time in charm school before opening a service oriented business. According to other reviews I have read there are several other past customers who have endured the same type of pompous behavior, sub par food, and dining experience that we did. It is incredible that one's behavior can so severely sour their overall experience as his did. - chloemichelle, 12/16/2002

A horrible experience! The atmosphere is great, but the service is horrendous. We waited for two hours for our food, to no avail. Got in at 8pm, left at 10pm and our entree hadn't even been served to us. And no apologies! No concern! No excuses. If anything, go to the champagne bar, not the restaurant. Unless, of course, you want to leave on an empty stomach! - reeves, 10/08/2002

Tell us about your experience at Harlequin Cafe
1 planet: Below par, skip it. Detroit guide with reviews
2 planets: Has redeeming facets. Detroit guide with reviews Detroit guide with reviews
3 planets: Decent, worth checking out. Detroit guide with reviews Detroit guide with reviews Detroit guide with reviews
4 planets: Excellent, we'll be back. Detroit guide with reviews Detroit guide with reviews Detroit guide with reviews Detroit guide with reviews
5 planets: Stellar .. out of this world! Detroit guide with reviews Detroit guide with reviews Detroit guide with reviews Detroit guide with reviews Detroit guide with reviews
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