Hilltop Bistro reviews?
I am dying to try the Hilltop Bistro. The Markt was exceptional, and I trust the vision of the young man who has moved into the full restaurant realm. I checked out the menu online, and it looks amazing! Has anyone tried this place out yet?
Where is it located? Where Markt was?
That's great, I will go check it out
I had been a big fan and regular customer of the Markt deli since it opened. So, I was really looking forward to trying the Hilltop Bistro, particularly after reading so many people praising their atmosphere, food, and services. Unfortunately, my visit was very disappointing.
My husband and I asked our friends, who were also big fans of Markt, to join us for a dinner at Hilltop
Bistro. As we arrived a little earlier than our friends, we ordered some bread and olives to nibble with a bottle of wine while we were waiting for them. However, for some unknown reason, even after reminding our server about this, we still had to wait at least one half hour for these to arrive. They were tasty, but arrived too late to serve the purpose.
My husband and I both ordered the scallops with lentils for starters, followed by the lamb sirloin. Our friends ordered beet salad with goat cheese, and then beef strip loin.
Our starters had five pieces of scallops, but they were not whole pieces. Each was sliced in half (at least) horizontally, so you actually get two and half of scallops. Because of the slicing, they were too thin and a little rubbery as they were overcooked. Also, the seasoning of the lentils (quite salty and smoky) was overpowering, and I could hardly taste the flavour of the scallops. As for the beet salad, our friends thought they were nice but one of them felt that there was not enough goat cheese.
As for the main course, we found the meat of our lamb dish lacked flavour (we like our lamb to taste like lamb) and also was merely warm, not hot, even though the other food on the plate was much hotter. In addition, although each of the accompaniments was tasty on its own, I felt that there were too many flavours on one plate to enjoy. Fortunately, our friends enjoyed their beef.
For dessert, I and one of our friends had the Crème brûlée, and another friend had cheese cake. We thought that they were both good.
Since my husband did not feel like dessert, he asked if he could have a cheese plate, which was not on the menu, and was told that the restaurant does not allow “modifications or substitutions”. He then suggested that as there were various cheeses used in the other dishes on the menu, could they not just put together a small cheese plate from those available ingredients, as a special request. We have made this kind of request in so many other restaurants before, and they have all happily granted the request, as long as they had some cheese. Also, Hilltop Bistro is quite a small restaurant of less than forty seats, and on the night we went there, there were three staff in the kitchen and three on the floor, and the restaurant was not full. So, we felt that they could easily have accommodated such a simple request as a cheese plate, especially considering that they had the ingredients. However, the server checked with the owner (who is also the chef) and returned to say that they could not accommodate his request. Since my husband was still hungry, he ordered the charcuterie plate instead, although he knew it would be too much food. The puzzling part is that, when it arrived, it included two different kinds of cheese, and the server brought our attention to the cheese on the plate. What none of us could understand was, if they could put the cheese on the charcuterie plate, then why couldn’t they simply have put the same cheese on a small plate, and serve him as he requested.
To finish, my husband and I both ordered an espresso, but mine tasted very sour, his tasted very weak, and both were lukewarm. We pointed out the problems to the server and she offered to make them again, but we declined as we knew from the past experience that it usually does not make any difference.
As for the service, although our server was pleasant, we had to repeatedly struggle to get any attention from her, as the servers were often talking to each other in the bar and not paying attention to their customers. Also, we found the music was too loud at times and we had a hard time hearing what each other was saying.
The bill then arrived, and after noticing that the server had forgotten to add one of our bottles of wine, we advised her of this, and she seemed appreciative, explaining that the computer system caused the problem.
Despite the problems so far, we did manage to get some enjoyment out of the evening, that is, until we went to pay the bill, where the owner asked me if we enjoyed our dinner. Since our server was standing there and other customers were at the table nearby, I simply said it was “good”, as I did not want to tell all the problems. He clearly sensed something wrong and asked if there had been any problems. Once my husband finished paying the bill, he mentioned the experience with the cheese plate request. The owner then responded that he went out of his way for us, but he expressed this in a way that clearly showed he did not like our feedback. We did not know what to say, and the owner then curtly thanked us and walked away. This left us with a very unpleasant feeling.
Overall, the dishes were fairly well presented, and some of the other dishes on the menu sounded good. However, I feel that, from the owner’s inflexibility and his reaction to our feedback, my dining experience as a customer is not really important to him and therefore, I will not go back to the restaurant again.