I have eaten at Marie Louise Bistro on Charles Street in Mount Vernon a few times, but this time I went with the Chefs. If you don't know, Marie Louise is in the space that, for a number of years, was Gampies. Following its closing, the space was empty for years. It re-opened late in 2008 as Marie Louise Bistro, with a beautiful new interior and huge windows facing the hustle and bustle of Charles Street.
The last few times I've eaten at MLB, it was late winter and early spring, which was reflected by the menu, which included duck confit and some heavy beef dishes. Now, in early July, the menu is still the same, and hasn't changed to accommodate the great fresh and seasonal foods now available. That was surprising to both me and the Chefs.
Our major gripe with our experience on Friday was the absolutely sluggish service. It took about 10 minutes for anyone to even acknowledge us once we'd been seated. Then a waitress came over with two glasses of water for three of us, and took off before we could place drink orders. Ten minutes later, a waiter returned to ask for our drink orders, but without the extra water glass. It then took about seven minutes for the drinks to arrive. We ordered immediately, since we didn't know how long we'd have to wait before another waitstaff came by. Lest you think it was mobbed, there were three waitstaff for 12 tables, which is a very good ratio even for a Friday night. Cat and I ordered hamburgers with fried onions and bleu cheese, and they came with french fries, which were barely warm. Dog ordered a chopped salad, which he said was overdressed. There was no bread put on the table, so Dog also ordered a mac-and-cheese, which was good, although made with the pedestrian elbow macaroni. The desserts at Marie Louise are made by Patisserie Poupon on Baltimore Street, so you know that they're good. There is also a small selection of gelati. The last time I was at MLB, they must have been very low on desserts, since the dessert tray featured a chocolate croissant, which is breakfast food. Unfortunately, someone put butterscotch syrup on the strawberry tart, and it tasted exactly like it came out of a jar. Caramel or chocolate sauce would have worked a lot better.
Dinner and tip came out to about $100, but we were so disappointed with the slow service, that it really made the experience less than pleasant.