1789: A Report (Long)
We enjoyed a very nice meal at 1789 Saturday night. Not spectacular, but very good. The details:
The restaurant/rooms: Mostly dark paneled wood, with hunting paintings, etc. Very traditional. There are actually three levels, not two. We were seated on the second level. Maybe not Siberia, but not St. Petersburg either. I think Siberia would be the Middleburg Room on the third floor. This level ("The Wickets Dining Rooms") is divided into two rooms. We were seated at a nice corner table, BUT this half of the room is painted peach, and the walls are decorated with bright beachy prints. Just didn't go with the rest of the restaurant's decor.
Now, I had mentioned that we were celebrating our anniversary, and I didn't specifically request the main dining room, so I wasn't really upset; we got the best table in our room.
Service: Generally good, but the pacing of the meal really tailed off after the salad course. AND, someone scooped up my wine cork when I wasn't looking. :>(
Beverages: I had a nice crisp New Zealand riesling to start (sorry, I zoned out on the winery), then a half-bottle of Guigal's Cote Rotie (1996). A wonderful wine; hence my disappointment in losing the cork.
Mrs. W. had two Cosmopolitans; anything beyond one is a compliment to the bartender.
The coffee was very good.
Bread: Excellent. Cheesy foccacia and rye bread, baked in house. Easily passed the bread test.
Appetizers: Oyster & champagne stew was delectable. It included morels, ham, and onions. A superior dish.
Artichoke and feta tart was very nice.
Salads: Hearts of romaine with Caesar dressing was fine but that's it. You'd think we would know better by now. Next time we would share another appetizer instead of getting the salads.
Entrees: Rack of lamb was excellent. Three thick chops (five ribs in total) on a merlot sauce, with feta potatoes and really good sauteed spinach. Cooked as ordered, medium rare.
Portuguese shellfish stew did not live up to expectations. The amount of shellfish seemed skimpy, and there were a lot of potatoes in there too. It wasn't bad, just not great in comparison to similar dishes we have had, such as at Kinkead's. Also, why did it come with mashed potatoes too?
Desserts: Autumn pear brioche bread pudding melted in my mouth. Creme brulee was right on the mark. They were served with a candle in each, a card from the restaurant, and best of all, were complimentary. That pretty much made up for the loss of the cork.
A final nice touch was that we were charged for only one Cosmo.
Overall grade: B+.
Not entirely food related, but I think this comment is appropriate for this crowd. If you want to keep your wine cork, put it in your pocket or purse. Restaurant staff at finer establishments are trained to remove excess cluttter from the table as soon as it hits, whether it be your cocktail stirrer, wine cork, sugar packet, or cigar wrapper. The cork need not stay on the table any longer than these other refuse items. To imply that poor service has been given because the cork was remove after inspection is misguided at best.