‘Le Bilboquet Made Us Leave an Empty Restaurant!’

The interior of L
The interior of Le Bilboquet when the women were asked to leave.

Friday evening, D Magazine’s lifestyle editor, Raya Ramsey, and D: The Broadcast’s Courtney Kerr headed over to Le Biboquet for cocktails. The restaurant opened last week and Carol filed a report on the French bistro in the former L’Ancestral space at Travis Walk.

Here’s Ramsey’s report:

Courtney and I decided to pop in (no reservations) at 5 pm for drinks. No food, just wine. We were the first outside diners in the restaurant. There was a table outside eating with the hostess and a table of kitchen crew eating in the corner. We had three rounds and eventually split an order of fries. The food plates were cleared. We ordered a fourth glass of Prosecco at 7 pm and instead of bringing us drinks, our waiter brought us the check. At this point, the restaurant was still pretty empty. He told us we needed to leave because of reservations coming in. He was clearly uncomfortable asking us to leave but cited “he’s getting nervous about incoming reservations.” Not sure who “he” was, but okay. The odd thing was that the restaurant was still empty. I mean, there was only one, maybe two or two tables of diners. I totally get a brand new restaurant preparing for a reservation-packed night, but no one was there. Why couldn’t we stay for one more glass and then wrap it up? We weren’t asked to move outside, where I doubt anyone would be dining, we were asked to leave. It was the strangest experience and it was uncomfortable for all three of us. The owner was there, bustling around, but never stopped by about this.

Is this a normal thing to happen? I guess I just don’t like the way in which it was executed. The server felt weird about it, which made us feel weird about it. Maybe he could have told us at 6 pm, “Hey guys, at 7 pm, the tables are reserved for tonight’s dinner rush,” instead of just kicking us out on the spot.

Hmm. If I’m a new restaurant, I’m not asking anyone to leave. Especially those two. I’d love to hear how other restaurants handle this.