Saturday, January 12, 2008
This was the first time I have dined in the Prixe Fixe Room since the new restaurant has opened. I was anxious to "feel" the ambiance.
I was joining 9 friends for dinner to "test the waters". I got off to a bad start. I was running on time as long as there were no obstructions to my path. I don't like it when I'm on edge trying to get someplace.
I pulled into the driveway and the parking valet had both lanes blocked. "Did not sit well with me". When I told him that I did not want valet parking, he said I would have to park in back. "Did not sit well with me". He moved a car so I could enter the parking lot and I proceeded to to park in the middle. He did not have any area roped or coned off, so my attitude was "screw you". I'm paying close to $100 for dinner and I'm supposed to park in back. I think not. I'm not a fan of valet parking. Its not the $ charge, it's that most of them are lousy drivers and if you have any money in your car it sometimes disappears. And they aways change the seat position.
Upon entering the restaurant, I informed Dave, the owner, of my encounter with his valet. The valet is supposed to leave one lane open for those who do not want to avail themselves of the service.
After checking the score of the football game, I proceeded to join my companions for dinner. The prixe fixe dinning area is a separate room which they keep the door closed to the rest of the restaurant and I was interested in comparing it to the old restaurant.
I was disappointed in the acoustics. It was noisy to me. Maybe the fact we had 10 people at our table entered into it. I have an idea it is not the soft ambiance as with the old place. The harpist still plays on weekends which is a nice touch.
Since I was the last one seated , everyone had already decided to order the house wine pairing with the dinner at $25 per person. I personally would have rather ordered bottles from the wine list, but when you are the "last minute charley" your opinion doesn't count.
The dinner started off with an "amuse bouche", a blue cheese/walnut mixture on a toasted bread round. Soup was roasted red bell pepper and tomato bisque. Next up was a Chipolte Crab Cake with a herb salad. After that came the chicken breasts with a prosciutto sauce. Extremely good. Main dish was new york steak with chipolene onion gravy, potatoes and vegetables. A cheese plate appeared and then dessert was served. You get three desserts, all small portions. Tonight we had Russian cream, (panncotta), sticky toffee pudding and some chocolate concoction. As always the food is outstanding. Louise is outstanding in the kitchen
I wasn't as happy with the wine pairings. I felt they were mediocre and we would have done much better ordering off the wine list. That's the problem when you have a bunch of wine geeks, nothing is good enough for us. We are too critical of everything.
I am doing an Argentina wine dinner this next week at Delius in the prixe fixe room, so I will compare the noise level at that dinner with this one. It may be much better. I hope so.