Sunday, January 11, 2015

sadly, another fail

so last night we made a reservation at a highly rated (by Trip Advisor) local restaurant.  we went over the menu on line and had high hopes for an excellent meal... the chef was a James Beard finalist some time in the past (not clear) and the place was nearby so we thought we would check it out.

we arrived at 8:12 -  and things started badly when our reservation for 8:15 was not honored until 8:37... then we waited several minutes for anyone to acknowledge our presence at the table and even longer for wine glasses to make it all the way from the serving area two tables away - we even saw our server walking around with the glasses in hand to several other tables (distributing and picking up checks for payment and processing payments etc) all the while we are waiting for glasses for our wine...

the high note of the evening was when we had a brief and very pleasant conversation with the chef while waiting for a table, as he noticed the wine we had brought to accompany dinner and we discussed winemakers we knew in common from the wine growing area of the wine we brought (an older American wine- despite the fact that our cellar is heavily French we do have many wines from other wine regions of the world)

the woman at the front desk couldn't care less about the fact that she wasn't honoring the reservation times only apologizing when she finally deigned to take us to a table- and the server when informed that our experience had not started well, did apologize but by rote- although I didn't really blame her - she wasn't the one who took the reservation and then didn't keep it...(a la Seinfeld)

we finally ordered and the food began to arrive-

I started with a wedge salad and Phil with the BBQ shrimp (New Orleans style)

sadly the salad was swimming in a vinaigrette by the time I finished- so - seriously over dressed... I think Phil was pretty happy with the shrimp but said he was expecting it to be in the Pascal's Manale style (perhaps the most famous BBQ shrimp place in NOLa)- and it wasn't....

we followed with the Pork Shank for Phil and the Muffaletta flat bread for me and "toasted garlic fries" to split...

Everything LOOKED great- but Phil did not care for the pork preparation which tasted weirdly of vinegar (in the style of sauerbraten I think) and while I liked my muffaletta flatbread I thought there could have been just a tad less olive spread (which made it quite drippy and I ended up with a number of those drips on my shirt- LOL)  As for the fries - I think the basic fries may have been good but this preparation had them coated with some buttery flavor and they lost the desired crispy texture traditional "frites"  should have..

we left some of everything we ordered on the plates- but not entirely due to the food not being exactly to our tastes- but in part due to the fact that we wanted to try a couple of desserts- which ended up being comp'ed by the front desk lady (a very nice move on their part) for the wait. But which didn't make up for the reason the wait was so long-

so the dessert menu- and our choices - the beignets and the mousse-

while not "to die for" they were both very good and to my mind the best part of the meal-

our wine- an older Pinot made by our buddy Rollin Soles in the era before he left Argyle for his own winery Roco--- this wine was still fruit packed and seemed very young - we probably should have decanted it - because it opened up nicely over the course of the meal - but showed as a bit simple when first in the glasses...

so we agreed that if the food had been amazing we would have had to give the place another try but it just didn't quite meet expectations and on top of everything there was a group of FOURTEEN in the middle of the dining room (wearing farm implements logo caps inside on a Saturday night- res ipsa as we say in law...) so that was our one foray to the world of Derek's....

on a more happy note- earlier in the day we had put together the wines for our weekend in Miami to visit with daughter, Angela & her guy, Lee and our brother Larry and cousin Michele...

we have an Italian dinner planned for night #1 and French night #2 and gastro pub for night #3-

the Italian night (OK so we aren't huge Italian white fans...LOL)

the French night-

an 02- C-M Morgeot from Marc Morey

and a 1990 Beaune Theurons form Jadot-

and a Sauternes from Angela's birth year! 1988!

then the final night - a grab bag because the menu at the gastro pub is all over the map-

more on the family get- together when we return from Miami- meanwhile classes start tomorrow for those of us enrolled in "adult education" LOL- details to follow....

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