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Gastronomique New Haven – An Offense to Anyone With a Mouth

After reading a pretty glowing New Haven Advocate review, and an interesting Yale Daily News burger comparison, we were pretty excited to try Gastronomique, the “gourmet” French take-out place that recently opened. What followed was a half an hour of despair.

Gastronomique, a tiny, hole in the wall restaurant with no room for dining in, promises “the art of good eating,” and features a nice combination of French classics, a prix fixe 3 course lunch and dinner, as well as some American inspired dishes. At around $5-$15 dollars, the price is right, as well. Here was our order, as described the menu:

  • High Street Burger, with mesclun greens, tomato, onion, and choice of cheese
  • American Steak and Cheese, with mushrooms and caramelized onion
  • Croque Monsieur, with prosciutto, tomato, and gruyere
  • Onion Rings
  • Pomme Frites

The man who took the order was extremely rude, the promised “free delivery” is limited to how far whoever on duty feels like walking, and the attitude when we went to pick up the order was not at all friendly. This was stunning, as it flies directly in the face of France’s reputation for warmhearted cheer and politeness.

All of this could have been forgiven, had we not then actually had to eat the food we ordered. In case you are bored of this review by this point, this picture can pretty much sum up what’s to come. This is the Croque Monsieur Jillian ordered:

Be sure to click for an even more repulsive close up.

In short, none of the tomatoes that were promised, little hard chunks of what must be the cheese, and thick-cut, dried out prosciutto that had the consistency of a playing card, all served on a horribly burned baguette, for some reason. Also pictured are the “onion rings,” a wet slurry of old onions in a styrofoam box.

Sadly, the burger and the steak and cheese sandwich didn’t fare much better. The burger, though celebrated by the Yale Daily News as superior to many other spots in town, also didn’t contain any of the promised vegetables, and was a bland, tasteless slab on a chunk of toast. The steak and cheese was okay, served on a crusty baguette, but was certainly not delicious enough to ever warrant a return trip.

In short, the entire experience left me feeling appalled that anyone with any sort of conscience or interest in repeat business would ever, EVER exchange this wet bag of garbage for honest-to-God MONEY in an open market. Non-bulimics, avoid Gastronomique at all costs.

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