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A spring let-down at La Colombe

A spring let-down at La Colombe A spring let-down at La Colombe

Photographer:Fotograaf: Kate Surala

Work like a slave, eat like a king

“Was your meal okay?” asks the waitress as she sends a text message on her phone.

“To be honest, the meat was just too fatty”, I reply politely. “As you can see.”

Nodding, the waitress admits: “Yes, I know.”

It’s sad when even your wait staff can only agree with the customers. So what’s going on at La Colombe? To attract more business, this newly renamed, refurbished restaurant and hotel at the heart of the Markt hired Gianfranco Chiarini, a Michelin-starred celebrity chef from Ferrara, Italy, to set up a brand new menu with outstanding dishes. Chef Chiarini did an excellent job – but now that he’s moved on, maintaining those standards appears to be taking a great deal of effort.

I give full credit to La Colombe for the beautiful presentation of its dishes. The atmosphere, too, deserves credits. With the fresh spring breeze blowing through your hair, La Colombe’s terrace is a great place for people watching. Inside is just as pleasant, surrounded by high white walls, brown wooden furniture and huge chandeliers in every corner of the room. But none of this makes up for the food.

I order slow-cooked, grilled pork fillet with baked potatoes filled with chives-and-bacon sour cream and a separate bowl of Chimichurri sauce. The pork is ringed by three to four centimetres of fat and is so tough I have difficulty even cutting it. The potato is served in aluminium foil that I only just manage to separate from the burnt potato skin. Finally, the Chimichurri is drowning in oil, and I can’t help but wonder why the chef didn’t add more spices instead. My partner, meanwhile, orders the oven-roasted chicken timbale. While the idea of a chicken fillet wrapped in bacon and spinach makes my mouth water, the dry mass topped by a pitch-black sauce does not live up to expectations.
Hoping to make the best of things, I order an Oreo Café Latte. Unfortunately, it turns out to consist of a mixture of whipped cream with minimal coffee and one Oreo biscuit split in half on the top.

It was one of the first days of spring and the surrounding restaurants were packed with tourists enjoying themselves. La Colombe, on the other hand, was all but abandoned. Our table was managed by a young waitress who paid very little attention to us over the course of two and half hours, despite the fact that there were only two other guests on the terrace – and they had to come inside to place their order. Sending text messages was, apparently, more important.

If only Chef Chiarini could see what has happened to his beautiful restaurant.

Kate Surala

-> La Colombe, Markt 30, Maastricht, www.hotellacolombe.nl/restaurant-la-colombe/

 

My menu

 

Slow cooked and grilled pork fille

€14.50

Oven roasted chicken timbale 

€16.50

Coca-Cola

€2.30

Double espresso

€4

Café Latté Oreo

€5

 

 

 

 

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