foreign cinema: an off night? (long)
my friend held his birthday dinner at foreign cinema on friday night. because our group was so large (20 people), we had the prix fixe menu at $65 a head, plus 20% gratuity. i had never been before, and for the amount of money it cost, i was not at all impressed.
appetizer options were a corn and tomato soup, a beef carpaccio, or a endive/beet/lettuce salad. i had the soup, and it had a very nice corn flavor, though the presence of tomato was undetectable. it also had a nice food-mill (not processed) texture. however, it really needed some pepper to bring out the flavors, which i asked for (salt and pepper were not on the table). i had some of the salad, it was fine, but nothing special. i did not taste the beef.
entrees were a halibut with saffron sauce, a beef entre, a chicken entree, and a pasta entree. i had the halibut, which i thought was overcooked. the sauce (or whatever they called it) was very thin (watery) and flat-tasting, and was a deep moat for the fish to sit in. tough yellow wax beans swam in the moat, too. the dish was rather boring.
i stole several bites of the pasta, which looked to be housemade, with shreds of zucchini, bread crumbs, and a bit of heat. i liked that better than the fish. the chicken was also unimpressive; cooked a little too long, and bland, with bland accompanyments (greens? i forget, as they were forgettable). people seemed to really like the beef (i did not try), though it came on a puree of beans that looked like poi and didn't taste like much.
desserts were a very overly rich flourless chocolate cake (but i am not a fan of very rich desserts), an uninspired, dry and barely lemony lemon cake, and a trio of granitas, which were lovely and refreshing, but had large ice chunks. considering how easy it is to make granita, even in large batches, i was disappointed to find constant reminders that someone didn't know how to scrape ice.
it came to $78/person with gratuity. considering my impressions of the meal, i felt it was not money well spent. maybe it was because we were a large party and were guaranteed to bill a certain amount? foreign cinema usually is well spoken of on this board.