As a business woman myself I know how vital it is to create a great experience for your clients. The product can perhaps fall short of expectations, but the tone, environment, service, and hustle can easily eclipse a lackluster product or result.
Last night I experienced none of those things.
You asked for some constructive criticism so I will address several areas of disappointment.
Tone and Service. I did not feel like a welcome guest in your establishment. Your strict manner in which you address your guests and their behavior is not in keeping with my idea of great customer service. For example; You asked us to put our things in the room and then when Becka instead left her purse on the couch the way that you communicated your dislike of that was that as a mother scolding her children. It was not the tone of a welcoming service oriented proprietress By contrast what if you had asked when we arrived, said . ""May I take your things for you?"" I know the married couple felt scolded when they were slightly late, again tone. On that note of feeling welcomed. How could you not think of providing at least a small token of appreciation for our participation. A small hors d'oeuvre, some french cheese or at least some bread would have gone a long way. Not only did we BYOB which in my mind cheapened it, but then you instructed us on how to drink it. I am a 40 year old woman with a great deal of life experience and do not need to be told how I will drink the wine that I in fact provided for myself. I can appreciate the liability however, how about providing an effective means of limiting the liability quite easily....BREAD?
The ""cooking course"". There was absolutely no learning going on in this arena. It was; here is the menu, here are the items, here are the teams, go to it AND...by the way do not open anything unless we tell you to. No cultural discussion of food, no French charm, no useful tips, no learning, not an ounce. It was disorganized and disjointed. I wanted to be swept away learning about French culture and the food of the region, told some history, made to fall in love with what I know as french cooking. We wont even go over the somewhat unprofessional behavior of the chef who more than once said, ""sh**"" when presented with a challenge like there was not enough chicken. I actually questioned if he was a chef to be honest.
The food. This went from being an of OK experience to unpleasant. The mussels were cold, the souffle a flop, the chicken dry the rice mediocre the dessert well...epic failure. Why did we not make a gratin or something? Rice? really? Additionally you provided no salad, no bread. When I started doing the math on how much we all paid for our dinner $75 a piece I moved from disappointed to angry, especially when you take into account we provided all of our wine. A small lovely salad a small baguette? Not a large cost for a great pay off. On top of that I was offended by the changing of your role from hostess to a participant. You again became antagonistic when the couple wanted to sit together and informed us that is where YOU sit, finally after us pressing you, you capitulated but made sure to point out we would have to scoot in. Again, your tone was less than accommodating.
In conclusion, I was utterly disappointed. I am the woman who happily pays $15 for a slice of fois gras. After we left your place unsatisfied my husband drove us through the McDonald's drive through for some chicken breasts and a hot fudge sundae all of which were more satisfying than the experience we had at your home.
I know that ""off nights"" can happen but don't believe that was the case here. The entire experience was unpleasant. Ultimately I felt as if we were a bothered nuisance not a cherished guests and the product you provided was far less then what I paid for.