As we climbed the steep stairs, I was very impressed with the huge mirror in the stairwell. Things started to go down hill as soon as we got to the top and saw the cafe-style cake display. In truth, it's not a bad restaurant, but it's not a good one - and certainly not the top-class place you would expect for the prices.
Perhaps it's partly due to the local clientelle but I got the distinct impression of being in a club bistro. We were placed on the balcony with some other couples and two 8-seat party groups who were obviously having a great time. Not exactly the intimate anniversary dinner we were hoping for. I don't know why we were not seated in the quieter main room,
The menu was an all-in-one deal with padded vinyl cover, 4 pages of drinks, then the lunch menu and finally the dinner menu - each page encased in plastic sleeve, presumably to protect it from food splatter (those pages which fitted in the sleeve that is). Any decent restaurant charging those prices should be able to afford the time and effort to present separate drinks, lunch, dinner and desert menus printed weekly (or even daily) on nice paper.
When we read it, I noticed that there was no soup or salad options for entrees and all of the meals had a very similar structure. Hardly ground-breaking or imaginative. Only three options for side dishes we ordered a side of green vegetables to share.
And then there was the cutlery - so scratched I find it hard to believe it as actually bought new when the place opened a few years ago.
I ordered the veal and the waitress just wanted to confirm that I was ok with it being pink. Nice that she checked to ensure I didn't send it back for not being cooked "properly" but that was a strong hint of the "style" of the place as well.
I ordered a decent local wine which was not exactly obscure or rare. They didn't have it so I had to order another.
My wife was not impressed by the seafood tasting plate - a wide variety of little seafood bits each tasting worse than the one before. Does a chunk of beer-battered fish normally come on a seafood tasting plate in a top-class restaurant? There are take-away places nearby that do a better seafood meal.
My veal was cooked just right and I was happy with it, but not exactly ground-breaking stuff. They lose a mark for my pet hate - placing the meat on top of the roast potatoes - why roast potato to make them crisp and then soak them in meat juice and sauce?
Oh, and that side of green veges? You could feed one of those party tables with that much broccoli and zucchini!
Deserts were just ok - what can go wrong with chocolate pudding and a coffee tasting combo? Tasted nice but not exactly exciting or innovative.
Overall, not terrible but hardly worth the price - the expression "mutton dressed up as lamb" comes to mind.
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