After weeks of wanting to try the new addition to Marek's Collier House Restaurant, Marek's Bar and Bistro failed to impress.
The ambiance is the best thing this restaurant has going for it. After a glitch in finding our reservation, we sat down at a nice table over-looking the patio. Our server seemed extremely nervous and clicked his pen open and closed while he told us the specials without details nor confidence. Our party of four ordered three drinks and one small bottle of sparkling water. The sparkling water came without a glass, the two bottled beers came unopened, and the wine was fine. We ordered three appetizers; coconut shrimp, seared ahi tuna, and fried calamari. Their coconut shrimp comes pre-made/processed from a well-known bulk food distributor and there was nothing that differentiated it from coconut shrimp at any of the local bars/restaurants. The seared ahi tuna was good, yet very small. The fried calamari was not seasoned and the accompanying sauce was very bland. Then, we had to wave down a passing server for plates to serve the appetizers.
We ordered another round of drinks and again, the beers were unopened! When we ordered our entrees, we also asked if we could get a bottle-opener, too, but the young, inexperienced server did not get our joke/insinuation that beers should be opened.
We ordered a spinach soup and caesar salads which were good, but not great.
When ordering out entrees, our server was unable to give us any recommendations. So, we ordered the Bacon-Wrapped Crab-Stuffed Shrimp, Chicken Stir-Fry, Chicken Curry, and Grouper. The menu identified Nueske's Bacon, as the bacon that is used for it's shrimp, which is (normally) my favorite bacon ever. Yet, the bacon and shrimp seemed like they had been steamed....not having the texture/consistency of freshly-cooked, crisp bacon. It was served with plain white rice and a small salad on the plate. The chicken stir-fry that my wife ordered was good, but not great. Again, the sauce was from the same well-known food distributor that the coconut shrimp came from. My friend ate the chicken curry, but was not satisfied and his wife, who ordered the grouper, was not impressed. After another round of drinks, with two more unopened beers, we skipped dessert and asked for the check.
I'm not sure if it is because I am a Corporate Chef that works with the aforementioned food distributor, making it easy for me to spot many of their products, but, I just expected food that did not come out of a box and/or bottle from this establishment. Again, the ambiance was great, but the service and food were sub-par.
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