Ivo & LuluIvo & Lulu

Everything started so well at Ivo & Lulu. I’d wanted to try this place for a year; Emily Lyons brought it up more than once, and Lockhart Steele gave it a positive mention a few years ago. My meal could have ended well were it not for one small problem.

But first, the good parts. We sat down in their little Moroccan-style room (i.e., low chairs and low tables, which is hell for a tall person but looks pretty). The bottle of wine we brought was opened and served quickly and without fuss, and the menu presented a fair number of cheap, delicious-sounding dishes. We started with pâté and a roasted pear with gorgonzola. The pâté was quite beefy (approaching a dog-food level) but satisfying, and the roasted pear was predictably excellent, covered in blistering blue cheese.

When it was time to order main courses, I asked the waitress which sausage dish she recommended; the rabbit with cream sauce or the boar with blueberry sauce. She was adamant about the rabbit, and that’s what I ordered. Nathan and Emily each ordered the confit de canard, and all seemed well.

And then the confusion began. The table next to us was served, and a minute later their dishes were transferred to our table. Nathan realized that he had received the magret, but other than that, everything seemed fine, and he decided to eat it rather than complain. After a few minutes, I remembered that my sausages should have had a cream sauce. They tasted oddly of…blueberries. And wild boar. Nevertheless, we finished our meals. It wasn’t until our neighbors made a scene about getting the wrong meals that we realized that our entire orders were switched. The other party wasn’t willing to accept our dishes, and it was far too late for them to take back the ones that were served to us.

None of this would really matter if it weren’t for the fact that, as we were finishing, our waitress approached our table twice and, in a rather angry tone of voice, demanded to know exactly what we had eaten. Is it any surprise that the magret was pricier than the confit, and that we were charged the higher price? The difference was only one dollar, but on what planet is it acceptable to completely screw up an order, not apologize for it, and charge the higher of the two prices? (France!) I was especially upset about my sausages, which weren’t particularly good and weren’t what I ordered in the first place.

Ivo & Lulu is cute and cheap, and I love that it’s BYOB. Then again, my apartment is also BYOB, and at least here I know what I’m getting. I want New York to be full of charming little restaurants such as this one, but I’d never set foot in a place where the customer’s feelings aren’t even considered. These waitresses broke all the rules, and their tip suffered for it.


I couldn’t agree more; if the mistake was theirs they should have apologized and at the very least charged you what you would have paid for the meal you ordered.

Your story reminds me of the last time I ate at a Panera here in Pittsburgh, well, Monroeville actually. I know Panera is a chain but for a quick, inexpensive lunch, especially if you’re in Monroeville sometimes it’s the best option. And one thing I’ve always been able to count on them for is that their soup is hot. IMO, hot soup should be so hot that it should need to actually cool down a bit before you can eat it. In this case I took a bite of soup and it wasn’t even warm enough to give a baby a bath in. I took the bowl back to the “cafe counter” and the woman who had given it to me jumped back as if I had the plague, yelled at me, denied that the soup was cold, saying all their soups are heated to 170º (is that hot for soup?) and pointed me to the microwave! I demanded a fresh bowl of soup, which she grudgingly gave me, but it was also cold. I did heat it in the microwave, but I took a comment card on my way out of the restaurant, planning to let them have it (it’s still lying on the floor next to my bed, though). It’s shocking not to get even an apology in a restaurant when something is wrong.

Finally! I have been waiting for this post. I was equally outraged that they screwed up our order and then made us pay for the more expensive meal that they had served us by accident! Incredibly unprofessional, rude, and not a good tactic to gather loyal customers. I still regret not having demanded our few dollars back.

I usually make a point to be an extra polite customer, as many people are often incredibly rude to waitstaff in restaurants. But this was just ludicrous, even if the food was good.

It’s odd. It’s like they expected YOU to correct the mistake of which dishes arrived at which table. Which sort of leads me to wonder,

Why didn’t you alert the waitstaff as soon as you realized you’d gotten other than what you ordered?

This question is NOT to fault you. Sometimes I speak up in similar situations, sometimes I don’t, depending on, well, a lot of things. But it’s as if the restaurant expected you to drop your forks, wave your arms in the air and alert them about the dishes.

So what IS the proper response to the wrong dish? On the part of the diner, I mean. On the part of the restaurant I’d say it’s a discount.

As for P——-, I sympathize, I’ve been tempted more than once to use them for a quick, inexpensive lunch (like, on a road trip) but I find they are too unreliable to serve a ham sandwich. I think I once filled out an online response card. Ach.

Why didn’t you alert the waitstaff as soon as you realized…

I was the only one of us three who knew before eating that I was served the wrong dish (Emily’s was correct, by chance), and I don’t like making trouble. It didn’t occur to me that we had received the other table’s order or I would have said something; I figured they had written down the wrong canard, a mental lapse since mistaking magret for confit isn’t really possible.

Anyway, they bitches. Avoid.

I’ve been wanting to try this place for a really long time now and I’m sorry to hear the waitstaff wasn’t up to par. Customer service is everything and this situation makes me think twice about giving them my business.

I don’t generally like to make fusses either and if I thought they just messed up the orders and it’s nothing I’m allergic to, I’d just eat it too.

This was not at Ivo and Lulu, but I’ve had an experience where we were served an appitizer and weren’t sure if it’s what we ordered but it looked similar so we ate it and when the waitress realized she’d given us the wrong thing she immediately fussed at us for eating it! She actually said “if you didn’t order it than you shouldn’t have eaten it”…that’s the complete wrong way to handle it.

the next tme or that time this happend you should have ask to speck to some one in charge because the owner is allways around and its so hard to find good help so sorry about that love ivo&lulu

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