Gaffney's Oyster and Ale
This is a new resturant in the old Bistro Bistro location in Ballston.
Any early word on this? Is it a chain or local? Restaurant Group?
I understand this was opened by the same owners of Union Street in Old Town which is not the foodiest place.
Actually, both the food and service were decidedly disappointing on two consecutive visits.
On the first visit I figured I'd stop by for ale and oysters. I got the oyster stout and a dozen raw oysters, and while the beer was quite tasty, the oysters were nothing to write home about. The oysters were undersized, on lacked any really briny character. Even the cocktail sauce (which can be used to cover a poor oyster) was pretty average, with no horseradish bite to it. I might as well have put Heinz ketchup on my oysters. I ordered the oysters again on my next visit and encountered the same problems, so I know that I didn't just hit a bad batch.
Indeed, my second visit was far worse than the first. Appetizers and entrees arrived at the same time, and our waiter basically otherwise ignored all his tables (I wasn't the only one to have to flag him down several times . . . and a subsequent friendly conversation with our waiter revealed that patrons often complain about his service to him, "but they don't understand that they can get as angry as they want, it doesn't matter . . ."). I got the Wall Street (oysters and beef on French Bread), which seemed to be an extremely poor attempt to imitate a po'boy. The beef was cold, and the bread overtoasted. The Irish Coffee Cheesecake I had for desert was equally lackluster and a bit dry for cheesecake.
This said, Gaffney's is a work in progress. The servers all appeared to be rather new, and the manager was very involved with trying to keep patrons happy (perhaps because the service was so bad). I still want to give Gaffney's one final try before I give up on it. That, and I want an excuse to have some more of the oyster stout. All in all, go to Gaffney's for the bar, not the food.