You see, the last time my husband and I had a night out together was more than 3 months ago, so when Grandma called our son to sleepover during both our nights off. Just our luck! You can only imagine the excitement I had (church choir singing in the background). Yes, a date night meant we were going to “EAT!” I’m such a sucker when it comes to food, especially when I’m not the one cooking. I certainly am no Chef or restauranteur, but if I’m going to pay for food and service I just want to make sure I’m getting my monies worth.
It’s Friday, I call for reservations. It’s not needed, they have open tables. I dropped off my son, run home and get ready and we head out. We arrive to full parking lot, were they sure they had open tables? We walk in to find a full house…in the bar. We are seated immediately in the dining room. It seems a bit odd to be in a local popular restaurant on a Friday night with the dining room almost empty. There were only 3 other filled tables.
We review the menu, place our order with the waiter. The special cut tonight was from Meats by Linz. A distributor I am very well familiar with, however I’m not sure what I would have done with an 18 oz. of steak. I’m sure it would’ve been great, but I didn’t come to share steak with my husband.
I started off with the French onion soup, one of my all-time favorites (perhaps it’s the cheese, I’m a true cheese head). Even though it was warm out, I still wanted my soup. For the entrée, I chose the jumbo ravioli. My husband went with an 8-oz. filet mignon with added mushrooms, sides of rice pilaf and vegetable of the day. We finish our order and the next thing the waiter said was a bit shocking,
“Your soup may be a while because we actually bake ours here unlike other places”
“Uh…okay I’m glad that you do,” I told him.
French Onion Soup
Just a short wait and out came the soup. Appearances, it looked great especially the gruyere cheese melted on top, however I didn’t understand the tacky lacey paper cutout placed underneath it. It just didn’t match the modern décor and feel of the dining room. I must say, of all places I’ve been to that is considered a bit “up-scale” I was a bit confused. The pull of the stringy cheese and taking a bite was delicious. When I dived into the soup and bread portion, not so delicious. There was an overwhelming flavor of sherry, at least I think that’s what it was. The temperature was a boiling pot and the soup was a major salt bomb! (Insert sad face) We joked about it saying, well maybe we can dip the filet in it if it’s too bland. I continue to blow and keep stirring hoping the temperature would go down. I only got in another bite then the entrees arrive.
As the waiter hands my husband’s filet mignon down, I immediately smell fish. He asked for medium well, it was not. It was dry and way over done. Unevenly seasoned, once side was bland, the other was too much seasoning. It came with au jus, that was an overpowering salt liquid. There is no way this au jus came from that cut. The charred crumbled mushrooms had a smell I couldn’t figure out, but I’m sure it’s because the mushrooms were from a can. Rice pilaf smelled like yesterday’s rice. Unevenly cooked, perhaps he served us the bottom of the pot. Oh, and let’s not forget the vegetable of the day, which consist of two beans and two chunks of cauliflower. (mind you the local farmer’s market season is in full effect)
Jumbo which meant 4, you get 4. The description on the menu, loaded with cheese. So, where’s the cheese? You shouldn’t call your dish “jumbo” anything if it’s not. The only thing jumbo about this dish was the plate it was served in. The ravioli was sadly stuffed, at least was cooked well and the stuffing, pork, veal, and spinach was nicely flavored. The marinara sauce watery and a bit spicy. I’m not shy when it comes to spicy, but this sauce may have had a bit too much pepper flakes for the sensitive palates.
Service was okay, our waiter came and checked on us once. He was more focused on getting paid it seemed, he ran our card like the Flash. We still left a decent tip. Food needs help. The sad thing is, we’ve visited here before and Chef always delivered. I’ve met Chef many years ago, I know where he studied his culinary arts and remember when we met, he told me that he had to change the way he prepared food to fit the taste of the community. That was a bummer to hear, but I’ve always returned because the food was good.
A bittersweet ending, Chef finally came out to the dining room to greet the diners making conversation. Something a lot of the local chefs here don’t do. When he got to our table, we made eye contact and he greeted us quickly and continued to speak, but the entire time the conversation was made towards and only to my husband. He rambles on about making sure we were satisfied with the food, if there was anything he should be aware of. My husband, being my husband responds,
“It was alright, thanks.” (smiles politely)
Ahem! What about me? Well, I’m not one to criticize especially when there’s people around and you come to our table last. Everyone is watching you and now us. It just makes me a bit upset knowing what you are capable of, but somehow tonight you lost your passion. I know it’s not New York, but if I’m willing to drop a Benny on food, it better deliver. For Chef’s privacy sake, I will not be sharing the restaurant establishment. We all mess up sometimes.
Left the restaurant with bellies full, but only from the cheese that floated on the soup and the bread and butter that was served. Oh, and the water to wash down the salt, thanks for the water. We were full for nothing. Until next time, hopefully sooner than 3 months from now for another foodie adventure…take care.