The Dégagé Jazz Café
301 River Road
Maumee, OH 43537
Tu - Th: 5pm - Midnight
Fri - Sat: 5pm - 1AM
Sunday Brunch 10 - 2
Sunday Dinner 5 - 9
I've never been one to pass up a good meal complimented by live jazz, so when Flopsy and Mopsy rolled into town Friday night, Main Lady suggested we all go over to the Dégagé Jazz Café on Saturday, get dinner and chill out to the live music, well... how could I refuse? I've never been to the place and there's always a chance that I'll find an excellent jazz club that the great unwashed has yet to stumble into. Fat chance.
Getting right to the point, unless you're one of those people who like to stand in line for an hour or more before you get seated at the lousiest table in the house, make reservations. Tell whomever it is that answers the phone that you insist on a good table, and that you both know that location is everything. If you can't get a decent table, don't go. Believe it. The Dégagé Jazz Café occupies three separate rooms, and while you can hear the band in all three you can only see the band in one room. The other two rooms use wide screen wall mounted televisions that the patrons can watch. We were seated in the annex, meaning that we watched the band on TV, listened to the music and enjoyed a good deal of privacy. For my money, we got the best table in the house, but not everyone will see it that way.
The drink menu at the Dégagé Jazz Café lists every au courant concoction known to vogue fashion plates from New York to Paris and a few new combinations. While the ladies tried to decide on the color and texture of their poison and perused the concordance, I ordered one of my old standby drinks. I feel that the true test of a bartender or a waitress is a dry martini, straight up. These days I'll forgive a waitress (a young waitress, anyway) for asking if I want gin or vodka, as the current generation are poorly informed amateurs who don't know that martinis are made with gin, and gin only; Gimlets are made with vodka. If the bartender fails to chill the glass or the gin, then he's not much of a bartender and the only safe things to order from him are shots on the rocks, beer or wine. Likewise if he's so ignorant that he actually shakes the martini, the resultant watered down gin will get sent back to him with the suggestion that he return to bartending school for a remedial class on mixology. An experienced cocktail waitress will ask to the brand of gin and a preference for olives or a twist. An exceptional waitress will bring a tall glass of water as a chaser, and if you are fortunate enough to have one of these, hang on to her pal, she's in demand.
I ordered my martini straight up, "just as dry as high school history and as cold as a banker's heart - a Republican banker." My waitress enquired as to the brand of gin; I specified Megellan if they had it, Bombay Sapphire if they didn't.
|Menu - Click to Enlarge|
One advantage to our seating was the proximity to the band. We could easily carry on a conversation while the band was playing, which was nice. The band, by the way, was excellent.
|Eric Dickey ant the Scott Potter Group|
|Dog House Bass and Drums|
|Dog House Bass|
|Chef and Manager|
The only negative comments I have about my dinner concern our server. Our waitress didn't stop by the table often enough, and although she tried hard to do a good job she lacked training and experience. If it weren't for her attitude, I'd have complained bitterly to the manager and gotten another waitress. Also, I note in their advertising for the Sunday brunch that Kids 6 and Under Eat Free! which I think is a mistake. The venue is not designed for children, even well-behaved children. If you welcome the little monsters in for brunch, they are liable to show up for dinner as well and ruin an otherwise excellent evening for the patrons who have the ill luck to sit at the adjacent tables.
The food is good. It isn't great, it isn't outstanding and it is not a discriminating gourmand's delight; the dinner is a good enough value for the price. I plan on making a return visit.
The ambiance is pleasant, quiet and comfortable. You won't see any ball caps or cut off jeans in the crowd, nor is a bar fight likely to break out. The worst thing I experienced was a big mouth woman at the table next to me who would occasionally interrupt everything in the room with her stentorian, braying laugh.
- Ambiance: 8 (with entertainment)
- Service: 5 (which I expect will improve)
- Food: 7
Overall rating: 7