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French Affair Sarasota
Restaurant Review

Review - 1=Excellent - 2=Very Good - 3=Good 4=Fair 5=Poor

For details on French Affair, click here.

Ray Ashton party of 2 had dinner at French Affair in Sarasota and rated the salmon & sweet breads fair because, "Sweet breads tender & tasty, but way over salted" and writes on May 11, 2010, "Renee did a fine job of serving.
But the salmon was over done, and appeared to be coated & pan seared, rather than grilled, as featured on the menu.It also had the skin on it.
The sweet breads were very tender & tasty, but were wrecked with the salt.
I was attracted to the restaurant by the Sarasota Sally Review, and the mention of sweet breads.
We might go back, but would hold the chefs salty hand."
Service Rating: 3
Ambience Rating: 3
Cleanliness Rating: 3
Kid Friendly Rating: 3
Value Rating: 3
Overall Experience: 4

Anonymous party of 9 ordered Weiner schnitzel, grouper French Affair, mango chicken, beet salad, hearts of palm salad, avocado and crab meat salad and rated the food excellent because, "authentic, delicious, and well-presented." and writes on 9/24/2009: "Our waitress, Renee, was courteous, helpful, and unflustered by the late arrival of a few members our party. The pacing of the meal was good, leisurely, but not unreasonably long. The wiener schnitzel was a winner, and people were uniformly happy with the mango chicken, grouper French Affair, and other dishes. The lamb wasn't quite as good as in the past. The salads were wonderful; I especially liked the dressing on the hearts of palm salad. Our party appreciated the selection, price ($5 above cost per bottle), and help in selecting wine. The intimate and quiet atmosphere was one of the reasons we chose French Affair, though some in our party would have preferred a more upscale setting. Overall, our party was very happy with the experience."
Service Rating: 1
Ambience Rating: 3
Wine List Rating: 1
Cleanliness Rating: 1
Kid Friendly Rating: 1
Value Rating: 2
Overall Experience: 2
Times At Restaurant: 10

Anonymous party of 2 had dinner at French Affair in Sarasota and rated the food fair because, "unfortunately tainted by the disrespectful service." and writes on February 14, 2007, "I rated the service poor due to a very hostile hostess/waitress. We were looking forward to eating here for a Valentine's Day treat but were horribly disappointed when the hostess/waitress (she spoke in broken English with a very heavy French accent) began taking our order. After 10-15 minutes of initially waiting for one male server to come back (after having been served a glass of wine--Merlot) and take our order, the hostess/waitress finally came back to wait on us. We tried asking for a description of a particular menu item, the Large Scallops with Malaise sauce only to be insulted with a sarcastic answer stating that "it is prepared with an orange with a you get with a sauce, not apple, not lemon, orange." She further told us that we were "wasting her time and that the table was going to be given to another incoming reservation in 45 minutes and why didn't we understand that this is a business...." After being shocked by this kind of treatment my spouse and I looked at each other and simply told the waitress we would order just a Caesar salad. Just before we were served our salads, the next table was being seated with two ladies and a gentleman. They waited for the hostess/waitress to come to them. The gentleman asked a question about one of the menu items and was sarcastically told that it was a very stupid question. Although they initially laughed at her remark, after she left they looked at each other and commented that they were taken aback by her rude behavior. After we ate our salads, my wife left very much put off by this kind of treatment. I paid our bill only to be further insulted by this lady. I cannot honestly comment on the quality or taste of the food served in this establishment but I can comment on the lack of respect or professionalism of the service provided and is tolerated by the owner of this restaurant. Unless as a customer you are looking to be verbally abused or rudely treated and told to get out of the restaurant because you only have an hour to dine, I would not recommend this establishment to my worst enemy. One more observation: there seemed to be a bias towards larger group tables as compared to the smaller more intimate table settings (most likely the reason as explained to us in her primer on running a business....)
My spouse and I enjoy the many restaurants around Sarasota and have dined in a variety of restaurants during our 5 years that we have lived here. This is the first time in our lives that we have ever been shocked at such rude behavior at a restaurant. We have also strived to let the general manager or owner in various establishments know when we have had either a great waiter/server or positive feedback about the food."
Service Rating: 5
Ambience Rating: 4
Wine List Rating: 3
Cleanliness Rating: 4
Kid Friendly Rating: 5
Value Rating: 4
Overall Experience: 5

Pierre Forestier and a party of 5 dined at the French Affair Feb. 3, 2003. Pierre says he rates the food excellent because, "Well prepared with superb seasonings. Many varied choices. Excellent desserts." And he writes, "We had made reservations (not required but important during the season). When we arrived our first impression was it's a long narrow hole in the wall Well, it is! Once inside we were cordially greeted by our waitress, Rene. One can easily see into the kitchen (it runs the length of the left side of restaurant) so you can see the chef preparing the meals. The kitchen is separated from the dining area by long glass enclosed counters filled with several pates, smoked salmon, many cheeses, desserts, etc. and the counters are topped with French wines, giving one the sense we have entered a "Charcutrie". The tables line the right side and center area of the restaurant and towards the rear of the restaurant, stand racks filled with many more wines.
We were seated and promptly asked for our beverage order. Two of our guests had glasses of the house Merlot and both enjoyed it. Three of us had the Iced Tea which was fresh. The French bread was excellent. The menu has about a dozen appetizers and easily 20 different entrées. I chose the lobster bisque and the bouillabaisse. My wife chose the hearts of palm and the veal. My Mother had the lobster bisque and the salmon. Our guests had pate maison and the osso bucco while his wife skipped the appetizer and had the moulles marinier.
Although the restaurant was full (maybe 40-50 people) the two waitresses kept up and we received our meals fresh from the oven.
The bouillabaisse was excellent and was prepared in a similar fashion to my experience in the south of France. It included the croutons on the side so they were not already soaked. The fish paste was also served separately so one could add as much or as little as one wanted. The bouillabaisse included clams, mussels, shrimp, salmon, a white fish I guessed was cod, potatoes, and a wonderful "soup" with spices (not spicy) including garlic, saffron, parsley and many more I didn't recognize but enjoyed.
The moulles mariniere was also cooked in the traditional delicate milky soup with garlic. They were NOT the huge Australian mussels which tend to be chewy. These were very tasty and void of any sand/grit.
The Veal came in a cream sauce and was garnished with a ratatouille and mashed potatoes. It was well prepared and enjoyed by my wife.
The osso bucco was prepared in a traditional dark sauce and also enjoyed.
Although we were given dessert menus, we stretched our legs and looked in the glass counters to choose which ones interested us. With coffee, the bill before tip, for the five of us was about $100.00.
The only complaint on this occasion was we had to wait about 10 minutes for our bill.
We did not see any children. There was nothing on the menu specifically listed as a child's meal. I'm sure children are welcome but not catered to.
I certainly recommend this restaurant for its service and well prepared food at very reasonable prices."

Anonymous ordered the Sweetbreads, soft shell crabs and writes on 5/1/2002: "This is a very small "storefront" restaurant and without reservations especially in-season you might not get seated. The two servers who take care of everything including some kitchen work are very attentive and pleasant. There are lots of regular patrons and those who find out by word of mouth. My wife adores sweetbreads and French Affair does the best of all. Large portions and simply delicious. I usually have the trout which is wonderful but this time I had the soft shell crabs. They were served with a wonderful sauce and were very tasty. Two large crabs breaded and fried served with veggies, rice and some great other goodies. The vegetables are different each time and are done perfectly. They also do potatoes very well. Their chardonnay is excellent and there is a small variety of beer including Fischer from France and believe it or not Corona. When I left I told the server that the food is as good as it looks and it looks as good as it tastes!!"


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