Saturday, July 3, 2010
I was debating if the role of this blog should be to simply recommend and review the places I've enjoyed, or if I should also include a review of a place I would not suggest to others? I've already listed pros and cons of places, or said a restaurant might be better for just appetizers and drinks, or just dessert- but this would be my first out-and-out pan. Well, since I'm writing, I suppose I've decided that yes, the role of this blog is to record my eating adventures, and in this case, misadventure- and so here is my review of 'Mode'.
To start at the beginning: Ryan had read several early reviews of this new spot that said the food was great, and the live jazz spilling out from the bar area made it even more enticing. The interior is dark with a long bar, which features cocktails and several glasses of wine, nothing crazy- a pinot noir, a merlot, and a cabernet sauvignon were available by the glass, all tasty enough. (one early sign that things might be not quite right: the bartender had no idea how much our two drinks were supposed to cost...) Had we known otherwise, this was where our experience hit a high note, and should have come to an end. The original plan was to grab a drink and head elsewhere for food, but the menu- handwritten on a chalk board- promised tasty treats: mussels, peppercorn tuna, a mushroom and leek soup, and a goat cheese salad. These are things we like, so we decided to grab a table.
This is where mode went down the commode- the service was sllllloow: it took about forty minutes for my soup to arrive, and the wait staff had to be repeatedly waved down for water refills, more bread, etc. The mushroom leek soup was tasty, though heavy on the mustard, and the leek was overpowered. But maybe it was the forty minute wait and the fact that I was hungry, so it went down just fine. We then waited an additional half hour until the entrees came for the rest of the table, ironically with my salad not coming out with the other plates. The owner stopped by at this point to offer us desserts on the house! Which we thought was very nice, and made us feel slightly better. However, the food just didn't win us over. Ryan said the burger was just ok- and did not live up to some of the others in the area (dumont, le barricou, etc etc) My friend Liz had a pasta with fresh vegetables and a light cream sauce, which was at best... safe, but she enjoyed it. My salad eventually arrived, and though the goat cheese was nicely puffed in pastry, the greens were overdressed. (Seems picky, but after and hour and a half wait, it should at least be perfect....)
The free desserts, again, sounded good, but took an additional half hour to come to our table (Yes, for those of you doing the math, this dining experience was well over two hours....)There was a truly good raspberry coulis with vanilla ice cream which was a sleeper crowd pleaser, a decent creme brulee, a so-so apple pie, and what I felt was a less-than-yummy flourless chocolate cake, though I am not a fan of the genre to begin with.
To top of the tale, I ended up with a 24 hour, uh... stomach ache, we'll call it to be polite on a food blog- that pretty much sealed the deal for me on this place. But, an ever-optimist, I would say... the jazz was lovely if a bit loud at times- and a cocktail can't hurt anybody. But don't let the charming atmosphere and chalked specials lure you in!!!