I have been dining a Lovell's on and off for over 15 years now, always with mixed results. Sometimes superb and fantastic, other times badly wanting.
Tonight was a new low.
On the good side, the Gazpacho was out of this world - as always. Also, because the main course for one of us was so bad, the management did not charge us for that entree or the 2 glasses of wine - that was a very good gesture and recovery. But like a few times before, the poor execution of the food was really hard to understand given head chef Jay Lovell's talent and reputation. We started at 6pm and it was not crowded so the execution issues are hard to accept. I had the Barrimundi that was so overcooked, the bottom had the consistancy of toffee and the fish above had the consistancy of sawdust. No kidding - it was that bad. The cheese topped baked potato accompanyment had no flavor or seasoning, nor did the steamed broccoli which also had no seasoning whatsoever. I went over 15 minutes with an empty wine glass and no one noticed, check in or cared. When the entree was presented, I had to tell the server (not our waiter) that I wanted a second glass of wine to enjoy with the meal. He said it was not his job - but would tell the waiter. Not done, the waiter showed up about 5 minutes later to see how we liked our meal (not) and I reminded him of my request to the server who clearly had not communicated this need to him or anyone. Glass 2 appeared quickly.
I travel on business all over the globe and dine and restaurants of all cuisines and price points. This is the first time in probably 20 years I could not consume the entree. Again, they did the right thing and took care of the charge - but geeze. As I have indicated, this is a wonderful venue but with very spotty quality from the kitchen and staff over the years. I live about 10 minutes away and used to enjoy frequenting this restaruant, but over the past 5 years I have been avoiding it as the value referenced against the execution is not worthy. Jay Lovell, you have a wonderful restaurant and have some fantastic offerings. I would like to be more of a local regular if you can sort out your kitchen and service problems.
Please give me a reason to return.
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