When I started this blog, I never really thought I would need to give mixed or bad reviews – there are just too many good places to choose from in this city, and I could just let the others fall by the wayside, and as my southern upbringing suggested “don’t say anything if you don’t have something nice to say”. However, Le Gourmand is one of those restaurants that has been elevated in my mind for years – they were doing local, seasonal, farm-to-table in Seattle long before any of those buzzwords were commonplace – and I have always wanted to have a reason to be able to sit down at one of their tables. Randomly, we recently got a Living Social coupon for Le Gourmand, and jumped at the deal (if you don’t know about Living Social or Groupon – definitely look them up – half price deals offered every day on all sorts of things in your city). When a reason to celebrate came up – Shawn’s new job, Yay! – we decided to head on over, with some buddies who had also gotten the deal. First, when we mentioned that we both had coupons, they didn’t allow but “1 per table” – some fine print we apparently missed. A little disappointing, but still – this is one of the best places in town, right? After a lot of banter from our waiter/somolier who was a font of obscure and obtuse wine and pairing knowledge, we made our entrée and wine decisions, and settled on sharing a starter per couple. Our salad was lovely and fresh, with a simple citrus vinaigrette and grilled squash – but the ‘market price’ not quoted when ordered, turned out to be $18 (bit steep for greens, right? – especially when all other starters were around $10 for things including veal, or crawfish). Another chink, but we were still enjoying ourselves – until our entrées took quite a while longer than the natural flow of things. One of our friends happened to ask one of the wait staff about it after what seemed like a reasonable amount of time (mind you – all of us at the table have been in food service, and are sympathetic and forgiving folks, so she asked as respectfully as possible). The waitress snapped at her in a snarky tone, about there being only one person prepping food – all understandable, but could have been handled differently, or at least a heads up would have been better. Our food came out moments after that, and we settled in to our dishes. On this I have to say that my dish was incredibly good – trout stuffed with zucchini, and an earthy green sauce, with hints of mint. The braised greens and potatoes for the table were also quite good. Shawn felt his duck dish was too sweet, and the others thought their food was good, but perhaps not the layered flavors you would expect from $40-48 entrées. We walked away from our night a little bruised by the smug waiters, and somewhat disappointed in the actual food. This was very sad for us all after the build up we had given this place for years. We decided to go elsewhere for a little dessert.