I'm willing to accept part of the blame though.
We arrived a few minutes early for brunch not knowing that the restaurant actually opened at the same time (11am) as our Saturday morning reservation. We certainly weren't the first to arrive, but I felt bad that we were there before they were "officially" ready for us.
I also arrived having read this review by the ladies of Deux Chicago and having heard Cait of Pretty and Fun rave about this excellent spot.
Needless to say, my expectations were high. I was excited for first class service, mind-blowing food and a spectacular brunch experience.
So when our host, though warm and friendly, sat us without offering the complimentary reading materials; when The Breakfast Club DVD was on an annoying 18 second loop for what seemed like an eternity; and when our menu offered dinner selections instead of the much famed lobster hash, I was initially underwhelmed.
But then, as if magically, a switch was flipped and things quickly began to improve.
Our server was delightful. She was apologetic about the menu snafu, quick to bring coffee and helpful as we tried to decide what to order.
After refilling our water, a busboy was happy to bring me a copy of Us Weekly when I asked. (...they seemed to be out of the NY Times that morning)
And the bartender eventually hit "play" making The Breakfast Club a happy addition to our Nellcôte brunch atmosphere.
Just as advertised, the restaurant's decor was both luxurious and approachable. It was beautiful without being too precious, cozy but still incredibly chic. Everything we ate was fantastic and I may have eventually allowed myself spoonfuls of lemon curd after exhausting every vehicle I could find to get in my belly.
The lobster hash was, just as I've read, the stuff dreams are made of and the hubby's steak and eggs was cooked to perfection.
Our recent brunch at Nellcôte was a bit like a great first date. Once we all got past the initial expectations and awkwardness it was lovely afternoon. I'm definitely looking forward to a second date and am anticipating this to be a long and committed relationship.
Have you ever had a restaurant recover from a dismal first impression?