We took my brother-in-law here for his birthday on Memorial Day weekend. Overall, we were pleased with our experience.
The food was consistently well-prepared. Starters of crab bisque and a beet salad were a lovely beginning to the meal. My husband enjoyed his crab cakes, which were composed of large lumps of crab with almost no filler. They were served on a bed of turnip mash, a nice twist on the usual mashed potatoes. BIL and I both had the standout entree, though. I'm still not sure I'll get the name right: Cat Sea Pig Scallop. Inventive and delicious, the dish featured a large seared sea scallop, wrapped with a lightly battered and fried catfish fillet, and then wrapped in applewood smoked bacon. The main was served on a bed of rosemary grits, along with a lovely tomato sauce and 3 roasted Brussels sprouts. It sounded like an unlikely combination of flavors, but wow, did it work! The more I ate, the more I liked it.
For dessert, we had peach cobbler and bread pudding. You never know what you're going to get when you order cobbler - this one was a layer of peaches baked with an oat-based topping that reminded me more of a crisp than a cobbler. It was nicely seasoned with a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon; a scoop of vanilla ice cream would have been an improvement, but it was a nice ending to the meal. I'll come back to the bread pudding in a moment.
Our waiter was very pleasant and attentive, but seemed unsure of himself; I think he might have been new. When we asked for advice on choosing between the two Reislings on the wine list, he excused himself to ask for recommendations at the bar. When he returned, the word was, "They both are about equally sweet." So we did a toss-up and ordered one. Soon our waiter was back with a bottle of Reisling in hand. It was neither of the varieties on the wine list, and he informed us that it was the only chilled Reisling they had available. When he assured us that it was also a somewhat sweet wine, we shrugged and said ok.
A few minutes later, a gentleman we had earlier seen helping the hostess appeared at the table with our wine bottle. He opened it and gave the first taste to me; it was not sweet at all. I hesitated, and he asked if something was wrong. I said, "We wanted a wine that was a little bit sweet - this is very dry." He said, "Well, if you want a sweet wine, we can change it out for a moscato; Reisling really isn't ever a sweet wine." I didn't see any point in voicing my disagreement, so we just took the Reisling. I am no wine snob, and honestly have fairly limited knowledge of wine, but I have had a number of Reislings that had nice sweet notes to them; at the same time, I generally associate moscato with being an extremely sweet wine, more like a dessert wine. I'm not sure who our wine server was, but it seemed odd that the person designated to bring us our wine didn't seem to know any more about wine than I do. Even more odd was the fact that a restaurant that bills itself as a wine bar had a very limited wine list of maybe 50 wines, and then was out of the two I considered ordering.
Misstep #2 was that halfway through dinner, we realized we had not gotten bread with our meal; we had read how wonderful the rosemary bread was, and then noticed it on other tables. Our waiter apologized and after a few minutes' wait, brought us a lovely, hot loaf straight from the oven. Perhaps they had run out earlier and we got the first of the next batch?
Misstep #3 was that BIL and I got our peach cobblers promptly, and then we all sat and waited for several minutes for my husband's butternut rum cake. We finally caught our waiters' eye and reminded him of the missing dessert. He apologized and went to find it. After a few more minutes' wait, he reappeared with an abashed look on his face to inform us that the kitchen was out of the rum cake. My husband chose the bread pudding, which was promptly brought by another staff member. It turned out to be very good, fortunately, and the restaurant did the right thing by removing it from the bill.
On the upside, our waiter did well keeping our coffee and water filled, and he maintained a pleasant demeanor even through the awkward moments. I feel like he was working to do a good job but perhaps had not had all the training he needed.
The restaurant's urban contemporary decor was pleasant, and the dining room was about half-full on a holiday weekend Sunday night. Our booth was spacious - a small thing that made a big difference - and we also noted outdoor tables that would be a lovely place to eat on a summer evening.
I would definitely go back for the food, but I would hope that management would offer additional training and try to minimize the miscues between the back of the house and the servers (like being out of wines or desserts). At this price point ($20-30 entrees), great food is just a starting point - I also expect the details to be right.