Thursday, September 2, 2010


I was so excited to try out Yatenga.  Ms. J has raved about this local restaurant for weeks so I couldn’t wait!  I arrived first and the restaurant was practically empty.  Granted it’s a Wednesday night so maybe there was no reason for it to be packed.  Of course I had reviewed the menu several times and was looking forward to it.

We decided to order the pre-fixe.  Since I waited a while before Ms. J and her brother arrived, I was excited that after she took our order, our waitress brought us some bread.

I was terribly upset to see that the bread was actually burnt, crispy and harsh.  

The roof of my mouth is still recovering from the scratches.  Tsk tsk.  I truly wish that once I tasted the bread I had cancelled my order.  Ms. J noted that something was off and it did not seem like the same place she had eaten last week. 

I decided to truck on and happily accepted my escargot.

The herb butter sauce was a bit overpowering and quite herby.  I actually thought it was okra at one point.  Good but not great.

As we waited, and waited, and waited I was becoming increasingly irritated.  The salad was the next course.  It arrived about 25 minutes after we ordered.  I’m all for long periods of time between courses for fantastic meals, but this is the salad they brought to the table.

Ms. J was outraged that a restaurant would serve iceberg lettuce.  I certainly share in her concern.  I was not impressed by the salad but was so hungry that I ate it.  At least the cucumbers tasted fresh.  After waiting another 20 minutes, my Coq au Vin arrived.

Gross.  The sauce had begun to congeal.  I’m not sure what they were waiting for because I was ready for my food.  The taste was kinda gross.  The chicken was tender and even a little juicy, considering it was white meat.

During the entrée, that I knew I was not going to finish, I asked our waitress for our desserts.  Unfortunately, our waitress wasn’t exactly stellar.  She left the water glasses empty several times and was rather inattentive.  I won’t blame her for the food, but I do shake my head at her for the service.

She came back to ask if I wanted to pack up my food – HA! Good one.  If I don’t like it here, what makes you think I’ll like it at my house?! She then came over and said she had put in my dessert and she would now do the same for Ms. J and her brother.  WHAT?! Why would you put in one dessert and not the rest?!  Boo!  Luckily, the dessert turned out to be a high note of the meal so I was happy we ended there.  

My lemon crème brulee was delicious.  It was not overwhelmingly lemony which is always a concern.  The blackberry was fantastic!  Literally the freshest blackberry I have had all summer.  Bursting with flavor and extremely juicy.  I quickly asked for the check since we had been there for almost 2 hours and it definitely wasn’t worth the time.

Sorry Yatenga, but I do not think I can ever go back.  I’m not sure whether it was the weekday dining or if they had a new chef but something was terribly wrong.  The bread was burnt, the escargot was herby and the coq au vin was congealing.  The dessert was the only redeeming item and by then the damage was done.  Shame on you Yatenga for pretending to be a restaurant worthy of my patronage.  Please do better.

Hungry yet?

Yatenga on Urbanspoon


  1. To be fair, my first three visits were genuinely amazing. I'm really going to pull the owner aside and ask him what happened if I get a chance (guess that means I have to actually go back...), because yesterday was an absolute abomination. Ugh.

  2. My first time at Yatenga was the night before last. I have not sent food back at a restaurant literally in years, but had to at Yatenga. My ravioli was entirely TOO salty. I took one bite and knew that it would not be healthy to continue. I then ordered the steak sandwich to replace it. I know that a sandwich usually means that bread is involved, but there was much too much of it and a type of roll that did not accent the sandwich at all. Furthermore, much of the "steak" was actually inedible gristle. The only thing good on the plate were the fries, which I didn't each much of because I'm watching my carbs. No one at our table of 4 enjoyed his meal. I certainly will not be back. It's unfortunate because I'm all about supporting local establishments. If you're in the restaurant business, though, I really think you should consider serving good, healthy food, not simply supplying salt licks.