We are very particular when it comes to restaurants, We thoroughly research the areas we will visit and enjoy sampling the offerings presented to us. Working within the restaurant industry, I have traveled to 57 countries and my husband originated and managed a major travel club for over 22 years, so we have some expertise in this area.
We had a reservation and showed up 10 or 15 minutes early. Trying to figure out how to get to valet parking was a challenge but we made it and walked in to a very tight and crowded vestibule with no one at the podium for several minutes. When the hostess did arrive, She frowned and said aloud " so everyone arrived at once". This wasn't a big deal in and of itself. We knew it was Valentines day. However it did create the initial feeling that we were a bother rather than welcome customers. She continued to say that if we wanted to sit outside, then we could sit right away but that sitting inside might take another 15 minutes since "people just weren't leaving". This was yet another comment to make us feel that the customers were a "bother".
Only one other occupied table on the entire outside deck, and we were seated next to a garbage can. When we asked the gentleman who was giving us the menus if we could move down a couple of tables, he commented without a smile that he would have to "ask the boss". Which he did when another man came outside and did move us to the table we requested. However the overall decor is very upscale and overall very pleasant.
While the woman serving us was certainly polite and friendly enough, she was rarely around and it was somewhat of a challenge to get our whole order in. The first choice for both of us was not available (I ordered the Soft Shell Crab and my Husband the Sole). I changed my order to the crab cakes and she said she would come back "in a minute" to get my husbands revised order. Then we lost her for the next 15 minutes. This was common throughout the night and we sat for over two hours, in total, because of the inattentive service. Sometimes we love to take a very long leisurely dinner which lasts over 2 hours, but we would want that to be our choice, and not due to a missing server. Although Valentines, the restaurant did not seem busy enough to warrant this.
I hesitate to criticize food since it truly depends so largely on preferences, but I thought I would mention a few things that didn't work for us. First, the She-crab soup was a-ma-zing! Kudos! Truly it was one of the best we have ever tasted. The "New Orleans style" oysters were only so-so. I am just guessing that it is a version of the incredible chargrilled oysters originated at Dragos in my home town, New Orleans. While I didn't expect them to be exactly the same, what put me off was the amount and the temperature of the cheese. It was too much cheese which had cooled and had become somewhat hard and rubbery. This made the texture feel very unpleasant. In no way should they be compared to those from New Orleans.
My crab cakes were served with a sauce which completely overpowered the delicate taste of the crab meat. Combined with the fact that the crab cakes were almost completely unseasoned, it gave me the feeling I was eating a mustard dish instead of crab. It could have been a hot dog and not crab cakes. Same issue with my husbands Swordfish which was so covered with olives, tomatoes, capers and and other strong flavors that he couldn't taste the fish. Seasonings should compliment, not replace the main ingredient.
A mess. Apparently they shared 2 attendants between 2 restaurants. Took us 20 minutes to get our car even though there was only ONE person in front of us when we stepped outside. There were at least half a dozen parties behind us when we finally got our car.
With so many quality establishments in the Boca Raton area we probably will not revisit this one.
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