It is almost unheard of for a restaurant to be empty during the summer in St. John's (the height of tourist season) so when we walked in and saw that we were the only ones there, we began to worry. The irony is that we made a reservation. I guess I should have known based on the fact they offered a Groupon which no respectable restaurant in St. John's does because they don't have to.
The restaurant had tables both downstairs and upstairs yet they made us go upstairs away from the window as if not to advertise they had customers which was very odd. The service was very good but that would be expected considering we pretty much had the place to ourselves. The menu was not vast so I thought that what was on it would be decent but I was wrong.
Like another review pointed out, the bread served seemed as if it was from the supermarket and not the good kind either. It was served with salted butter and by that I mean the butter literally had salt on the sides which was bizarre because it was already salted butter and this made it inedible.
For our appetizer we had the scallops ($14). They were served quickly and they were okay -- nothing great and would have been better with some balsamic vinegar over them -- but strangely they were served over black beans and corn. What a very bizarre combination. It just didn't go.
For my main course I had the beef short rib. The waitress said it was fall off the bone tender and very lean but of course that wasn't true. It was smothered with BBQ sauce -- who does that to short rib? -- and had a layer of fatty gristle on 1/3 of it. The rest was anything but tender. It was tough and chewy and I literally had to spit out many pieces. It was served over what was clearly a bag of frozen peas and corn. I've never seen this at a fine dining establishment and for that, they should be ashamed. It was certainly not worth $30 and seemed like it was a frozen meal that was heated up. If it was cooked by a chef then shame on the chef.
My spouse had the pasta with chicken, sausage and shrimp ($19). There were barely any pieces of chicken and shrimp and very little sausage. It looked like it was a bowl of leftovers that were heated up. Even the wine my spouse had, Sauvignon Blanc.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that they'll be closed by the end of the season. No customers and bad food will be the death of them. Even their credit card machine didn't work. Overall this was a total failure. I definitely do not recommend trying the Cathedral Street Bistro before they close their doors.
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