Despite trying to book a Friday night table for 2 nearly 2mos in advance, I was only able to see reservations through Open Table for either 6pm or 9pm, which shows just how in-demand this restaurant has been since its opening just a few months ago.
The BF & I were seating in the inner-most room in a corner table which afforded us a good view of the dining room (there's actually 3 rooms: a bar/lounge, the Pearl room & then the Art room - we were in the latter) although we were right by the bathrooms.
From a design perspective, while the room seems to look quite sleek, I realized that the banquette seating around the back periphery of the Art room was slightly too deep and therefore some kind of lumbar support by way of pillows should've been available, but all they had were pretty useless, mushy little rectangular cushions which didn't do much & so I wasn't very comfortable during the meal.
Also, as all the furnishings are "hard", there was nothing to absorb the sound which meant that the dining room was terribly loud & so it was difficult to have a conversation despite the BF being sat right next to me! There were parties several tables over which I could hear too, so this wasn't conducive to trying to have a romantic night out.
But! While I understand some people would go to Hawksworth to "see & be seen", the most important criteria should be the food. I had never eaten @ West so I have no point of reference, but had some very high hopes going from friends' & internet reviews.
Our initial waitress didn't tell us that specials were available, and it was only the one who came to take our order who actually informed us of what they were! The list sounded pretty amazing so we were given a couple more minutes to decide.
I had the apple & beet salad w/chevre which I must say was UNBELIEVABLE! Wow, totally delicious & I was actually pained having to let the BF have a taste! And for $11, I could pop over to eat that dish any time & be super happy. Likewise, they had a special ravioli starter which the BF tried (I couldn't due to my nut allergy) but he said it was mind-blowingly delicious, which made me pretty jealous.
We shared the 22oz ribeye for the main and this is where the inconsistency mentioned in my title comes in. Since the starters were so amazing, we were really excited to get the ribeye as it's our favourite cut of meat & we have it often. The potatoes were fine (but nothing "wow), the veg was fine (again, nothing wow), the crispy bone marrow was interesting and then the meat was totally disappointing! We'd asked for the ribeye to be medium well but once it was served (sliced), we discovered the end pieces to be slightly charred on the outside but edible, and then the middle slices were close to rare!
I had mentioned this to one of the wait staff but by then we didn't want to continue eating & figured, well, at least if we take the remainder of the ribeye home to re-cook, it's rare enough to be able to get to the right level of "done" later on! However, this really shouldn't be the case @ a restaurant of this calibre and it was a let-down to see.
I noticed the chef walking around the dining area quite a bit, which I guess is good in some ways as far as being able to engage with guests he already knew, but I didn't see him checking on perhaps 1st-time customers (like us) and then once the ribeye came out, I wished he'd stayed in the kitchen to keep an eye on QC.
We declined dessert although the selection did look yummy.
Overall, this is probably a great restaurant, albeit with some teething pains which were evident during our visit. It's just won 2nd place in enRoute magazine's "Best New Restaurant" list so surely it warrants its place but our experience didn't reflect that.
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