Pigalle chef Marc Orfaly calls unhappy diner ‘fat,’ apologizes
It was a messy Wednesday for Boston restaurant Pigalle. It all started when a few local websites — including Grub Street Boston, We Love Beantown, and Eater Boston — noticed that someone running the upscale restaurant’s Facebook page had bashed Sandy Tremblay, a New Hampshire resident, who had dined at the restaurant on Thanksgiving and didn’t like her meal. Tremblay had posted a note on Pigalle’s
Facebook page saying that her dinner was “awful,” and comparing Pigalle’s pumpkin pie to vomit. In response to her comments, someone from the restaurant fired back, calling Tremblay “fat” and . . . some other things we can’t print or even link to because of the profanity policy at the Globe. To be a little more specific, one of the notes included: “Judging by how fat your face looks, you most likely shouldn’t be eating any more desserts anyway.” Ouch. It turned out that the person writing those mean comments was chef Marc Orfaly. By Wednesday afternoon an embarrassed Orfaly (inset) had posted an apology note on Facebook that said: “Last night a disappointed customer aired her concerns here rather than telling us in the restaurant. I must first apologize for my comments. They were not in the spirit of Pigalle, and nor do I wish for them to reflect on the hard work of my staff and their commitment toward hospitality. I am sorry. The truth is, I overreacted. While we feel that if a guest is dissatisfied, they should bring it to our attention immediately, there is no excuse for name-calling and foul language. . . . I truly respect and acknowledge the importance of feedback, good and bad.” Many of Orfaly’s fans left supportive messages on his page, but others were unforgiving. “Like it or not your true spirit shined through,” said one user. “Your comments were absolutely shocking.” By the end of the afternoon, Tremblay had joined the discussion to let people know that she and Orfaly had made peace. “I am posting to let everyone know that Marc and I spoke at length about our recent Facebook smackdown. He was right to say that if I was truly not happy with my meal I should of made a bigger fuss about it at the time it happened. He felt like there was nothing that could be fixed once we left. . . . We both have apologized for our words and we are now [Facebook] friends! He offered me a make-up meal and I will gladly take him up on his offer. . . . All of you that have made comments good or bad I would strongly recommend checking out Pigalle. You might want to make a reservation weeks in advance because, as the saying goes, even bad publicity is good!” One Facebook user wrote, after her comment, “I’m getting the feeling this was all a weird marketing scheme.” Hmmm. According to Tremblay’s Facebook and Linkedin page, she has run a children’s cooking program called Kitchen Kids.