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Inn on the Twenty, in Jordan: Disappointment

A friend and I stopped in for dinner during the week, on the way back from Buffalo. We'd never been before, and we thought we'd be in for a real treat. The setting was beautiful, the decor lovely, the service impeccable, but the food...

The menu was well-written, the type of menu that leaves the diner wanting to try everything. From sweetbreads with foie-gras raviolo to start, to a napoleon of salmon, scallops and lobster for main, to apple raspberry crumble with whiskey ice cream for dessert, it all sounded lovely.

Aside from the desserts (the crumble and a pumpkin cheesecake served with sour cream sorbet), which were not overly sweet and had great flavour balance, the meal was mediocre. The lobster (?) bisque was overwhelmed by a nasty smoked tomato salsa, rendering the creamless soup acrid. An appetizer of salsify three-ways lacked cohesion. A main of rib-eye done two-ways featured rib-eye that was almost cold, with a vegetable hash and spinach pesto: no flavour balance, no textural interest. The salmon napoleon (a special of the day) featured very thin slices of overcooked salmon serving as "feuilles" for sauteed spinach and the most minuscule pieces of lobster and scallops imaginable.

Has anyone had any experiences at Inn on the Twenty recently? Was it better when the Olsons were in charge?

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  1. i ate there this past summer and while i can't recall my meal to great detail, i was quite disappointed with the overall execution. the rave reviews have left me stunned with this place and so i'm not sure if mine was a singular experience.

    i had ordered the tasting menu and the consomme i began with was just simply bland. it had perfect clarity but lacked any depth in flavour beyond simple beef. the sweetbreads that featured one dish were among the worst i've had as of yet. they were dense and chewy with, yet again, little flavour. the whole meal was simply mediocre even though the menu read incredibly well for me too. after having two desserts, one was quite good and the other ok... a case of lack of balance.

    sorry this is so vague but my dining partner not having the tasting menu was so underwhelmed as well that i think i can find many other dining options in NOTL.

    1. I'm really sorry to hear the reports about On the Twenty. Executive Chef Kevin Maniaci is a really creative guy, and I have enjoyed his food in the past. That said, I haven't been there since last summer, and things can always change in a heartbeat in any restaurant.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Gourmando

        Agreed!
        I ate there last summer and it was absolutely FANTASTIC!!!

        1. re: SnoShoe

          I've eaten there twice in the last 2 years and was not disappointed

      2. I have had some simply stunning dinners there upon many occasions in the past few years.

        I am very surprised that you had such a bad time.

        I have always found the food to be exemplary.

        1. Judging by your comments, I'm hoping that Inn on the Twenty was simply having an off night. I will definitely return soon and give it another try.

          1. As my parents are in Niagara I have been to the Inn many, many times for both lunch and dinner and can say that the food has always been good to great. However I did have lunch there 2 months ago and could taste that the food was slipping. The exectution was lacking as was the taste. The Soup I had was salty and chicken was totally dried out. Maybe just an off month?