The Cooks' House has great potential, but needs some work. I wish Trip Advisor provided a rating for 'Good.' The Cooks' House is better than Average - absolutely - but not as good as 'Very Good.'
1. Atmosphere is incredible. Residential-feeling, cozy and intimate.
2. Service is top-notch. There is a high staff-to-guest ratio meaning that you are never in a position to have to ask for something. Water glasses never run dry, clean silverware is always switched out after each course. With restaurants failing so much in this space, I can not give The Cooks' House enough credit for paying attention to this critical point of a dining experience.
3. Food quality is high. I had an issue with my dinner, which I'll note in the next section, but in general, you get what you pay for, and this place is the real deal.
4. Food style is inventive but authentic and familiar. They strike the right balance of creative, local, and comfort.
5. Tasting menus offer guests a unique dining experience, which is a definite competitive advantage for custom restaurants in the TC area.
1. Food QC: I ordered the NY strip, which I had noticed on other guests' plates, was a beautiful, slightly marbled cut of beef. My cut, however, was very grisly and heavily sinewed, which in my opinion, should have been rejected by the kitchen and never accepted much less served to a guest. Their offer was to re-do the steak for me, which would cost me 25 minutes and force my husband and I to eat our dinners in a sequence rather than together, or to re-serve my original dinner, enjoy what I could, and then take the dinner off the bill. I opted for the latter since my husband was already well into this plate, and I would haven eaten by myself had I had to wait 25 minutes for a re-do. That said, I have no idea why it would have taken 25 minutes to grill a steak, and when all was said and done, I had a dinner last night that I didn't enjoy.
2. Wine list is excellent for bottles, needs a lot of work in the glass offerings. Regional and varietal representation is lacking in the glass offerings, and when I couldn't find something, I resorted to ordering a bottle, which I was then told they didn't have. (Ouch, twice!)
3. Dining room got crazy-hot. There is no ventilation, and the heat and smoke from the kitchen infiltrates the dining room. It got uncomfortable at times throughout dinner.
SUM: I would totally give The Cooks' House a second chance. The experience I had with my particular dinner was a one-off unfortunate circumstance, but in general, this little restaurant has some serious culinary skill, and if you appreciate good food, you're going to get it, here.
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