Chez Isabelle and Las Vegas Night

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We were ready for dinner right when the restaurant opened. Or at least when it was supposed to open, which was 6 pm. We arrived and the door to Chez Isabelle was still locked. There were people inside and they could see us try to open the door, but nobody came to say they weren’t quite ready, or any acknowledgement that they were not open when they were supposed to be. I checked the little book to see if I had the time and night right. At least one of the restaurants is closed each night. But, no, Chez Isabelle was scheduled to be opened at 6. So we sat at the bar and waited.

The boys, of course, had not been ready, so it was just Zung, Susie and I. About ten after 6 they opened the restaurant. We asked for a table for 5. There was a table for 6 set up. They took away one of the chairs and one of the place settings, but they didn’t move things together to make it look like a table for 5. So we moved the place settings closer together and the chairs.

I know it sounds like I am complaining about petty things and am being picky. The thing is, this is supposed to be a high-end resort. It’s the attention to detail that sets the high-end resort apart. There was just no attention to detail. You start adding all of the little things up, and you have less and less tolerance for it. Throw in sub par food and you really start to pick things apart.

The boys joined us before too long. I ordered some champagne so we wouldn’t have to buy another overpriced bottle of wine. The champagne is pretty average but it was a lot more drinkable than the red wine we’d had that first night.

I will say that the service was very good at Chez Isabelle. Our waiter was Martine. He was very personable and attentive. When he found out Susie spoke Spanish he would not allow her to speak to him in English.

We placed our order and the food was brought in good time.

We got a variety of appetizers.

Quiche Lorraine


Salad Nicoise
Field Greens With Roasted Pears, Almonds and Goat Cheese

Nicholas got the Steak Tartar.

This was a clear case of pretty food, bland taste. You can see it was well presented. It just didn’t taste nearly as good as it looked.

When serving our appetizers, the busboy got the orders mixed up. Not a big deal, until Martine told us why. The busboy’s wife had given birth to a baby girl that morning. We all congratulated him, but I felt so sad that he had to be there working instead of home with his wife and baby. I guess Mexico has not heard of paternity leave. But geez, the day the baby is born?

Next came the main courses.

I’d ordered the rib eye “on Cabernet wine reduction”. Really? That sounds good, but it didn’t even look good.

Unfortunately, it didn’t taste any better than it looked. It was very chewy.

Nicholas ordered the venison.

He had ordered medium rare but said it was barely cooked by the bone. The menu describes them as “medallions of venison”, but I didn’t think “medallions” came on the bone.

Zung and Patrick ordered the grilled Sea Bass, which they said was “okay.”

Susie ordered the Grilled Chicken Breast with Baked Apples. She was the happiest with her main course.

So far, the dinner has been hugely disappointing. Some people will read this and ask, well, why didn’t you send the food back and ask for it to be recooked or order something else. When you are having dinner, unless the food is really bad, you don’t want to do that because it puts a really bad feeling about things and we were seeing a trend. Nobody really believed that if the food was sent back or something else was ordered that it would really be that much better.

Fortunately, things looked up with dessert. My dessert was a Raspberry mousse yummy, delicious things. It was light and tasty and one of the best things I ate the entire week.

I can’t remember who got the creme brûlée, but the desserts overall were a hit.

While the food was disappointing, we enjoyed our time together as a family and we enjoyed chatting with Martine and hearing about his family. That is always one of my favorite things, hearing about the families of the staff.

After dinner we went to the theatre, where they were having Las Vegas Night, complete with casino games and play money. We decided to try craps. I always hear the cheering and yelling at craps tables, so I wanted to see what all the noise was about.

It was fun. I’m sure glad it was play money though. At the end, they wrote you “checks” for your winnings and then they auctioned off a bottle of Xtabentun.

There was a show afterwards that was dancing. It was okay. Not as well done as the shows at the Grand. It was pretty clear at this point that nothing was. As good as the Grand. It also hadn’t been as expensive as the Grand. So, there you go.

We headed for our room and bed after the show

We hoped for sun the next day and finally, that’s what we got, a whole day of sun. And after all, nobody goes to Mexico to be in the rain.

Be careful what you wish for. Or, it’s good to enjoy all things in moderation.










This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Do you think you would have been less critical if the weather had been better? To me, if the included wines are not acceptable, it is the end of that relationship. The only place we have returned to more than once in Mexico is the Grand. We have stayed at many AIs throughout the Caribbean. Even though people are really dissing the food at the Grand right now, it is still better than what we have had at many places. Love your blog ( and your shoes–and Susies). I cannot wear shoes like that anymore due to back problems and I have very fond memories of the shoes I used to wear. Keep it going girl.

  2. Thanks for your comments about our shoes!
    The food didn’t get any better even when the weather did. Having to cough up $30-50 for a decent bottle of wine was another strike against ERC. In the end, it was just too many things that weren’t that good.

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