My expectations were very high when I made reservations at Marti’s New River Bistro overlooking the riverfront and part of the Broward Performing Arts Center. It seemed to have it all: a new restaurant, an awesome setting, just across the way from the show we were going to see and a Prix Fixe Dinner. Okay the latter was a little high as with tax and tip it would be near $45 but it was a special evening.

It started off a bit wrong as I had asked for a window table when I made the reservation which we didn’t get though there was one available and it would stay empty! Before we get to the food something was obviously wrong as all the staff walked around with, ’I wish I wasn’t here’ faces. The only time you saw a smile was when a server was actually at a table. Is management that bad to work for?

Regarding the food don’t come here hungry as the main courses are skimpy unless you are a small eater or are still on your New Year’s day diet resolution and don’t want to eat too much.

We were served popovers which were large but either were from the day before or had been sitting around for awhile. It was served with honey butter but really a blob of butter in a pool of honey that dripped on the table as you tried to put some on the popover.

I had the Greek salad almost biting into an olive pit which, luckily, my fork discovered first before my tooth did. Allen had the tomato and mozzarella appetizer. He was brave enough to ask for another popover which he said was a lot fresher than the ones we originally had.

For our main courses I had the Asian duck confit with soba noodles. The latter were tasty while the duck was dry, cooked too much and had about 2-3 ounces of meat off the bone. Allen had the pork chop and just sort of shook his head.

We both had the chocolate cake for dessert which was on the dry side. I had coffee ($2.50) and he had a diet soda ($3.00) which sort of irked me as I would have preferred the fixe price be $40 and include the drinks. As it was with the added beverages, tax and including the tip the meal came to $50 each.

The best part of the meal was our server Tulio who did smile, at least when dealing with us, refilled our beverages and was pleasant from beginning to end.

Yes the restaurant is new, as are the staff, and they are sort of catering to a captured clientele but management has to train the servers, food runners and hostesses to put and keep a smile on their faces. Also the servers need to be trained in such things as crumbing a table between courses.

With so many restaurants within a 3 block range to choose from a view and convenience is not enough to sell Marti’s New River Bistro to me.

Slideshow pictures:
1) Entrance 2,3,4,5) Views from table 6) Waiter Raul 7) table setting 8) menu
9) Popover 10)Tomato and Mozzarella 11) Greek salad 12) Pork chop 13) Duck
14) Cake