Brunch at the Elite Cafe was strangely tasteless until I realized that the salt and pepper on our table was meant to be used to taste. My corned beef hash perked up, but chow still lacked the flavor of other locales.
Odd. Not terrible; not great.
Asked for a Coke - got a bottle I swear was only 8 oz. - $2.50.
$65 for three.
Had a nice dinner at Elite Cafe -- I adore the Deco surroundings and the music. We came in early to get one of the private booths and a small detractor was the hostess who made a point of telling us to not linger; as a party of two, they usually reserve those boothes for larger parties and it was slightly annoying that she obviously wanted to turn the table for a larger party. Being there right when they opened, there was no question they would be able to turn the table. Whatever.
I ordered a bottle of wine and was told it was unavailable. The waitress suggested another bottle which was quite good. We started with the "crab and artichoke heart fondue" and four of their highly acclaimed biscuits (fabulous!). The "fondue" was really a small cast-iron skillet of dip with a fanned presentation of rustic, thin toasts. While there was an obvious spicing to the concoction, the BF found it overtly bitter and un-appetizing. When asked how we liked it by the server, I was honest and she quickly removed it from the table and the bill. Kudos on that.
For entrees I ordered the pulled pork with cheese grits and fried zucchini and the BF had their jambalaya with shrimp, andouille sausage, and duck confit. My entree was a revelation, mostly because I saved the bulk of it and had it for breakfast. The pork was perfectly tender and shredded with a spike of spice which was a great compliment to the cheese grits. Ah, those cheese grits... Obviously redolent with butter to be that creamy and rich, studded with scallions. Must try and recreate their recipe. A minor point on the zucchini; I prefer mine nickel- or quarter-sized while these were on the order of half-dollar or silver dollar-sized and a tad thick. There were five or six of them at that size and I would have liked twice as many at half the size. Again, no biggie. I tasted the BF's jambalaya and found it flavorful and adequate. I'm not a huge jambalaya fan so I am not an expert, but as he lived in New Orleans, he found it decent enough.
We finished up with their version of bananas foster; a filo cup filled with vanilla ice cream topped with the caramelized, sliced bananas. A few bites and we were quite full, bringing much of our entrees home. The total bill, before tip, was $125. Not bad, I thought. I would go back for those amazing biscuits and cheese grits...
Very disappointing dinner last night. My first time since the ownership changeover. Previously loved the BBQ shrimp appetizer in a big cast iron pan and vibrant sauce. Last night, the BBQ shrimp "large" serving showed up in a tiny little pan, with peeled shrimp in a rather boring sauce. Biscuits interesting but too crumbly to really enjoy. Spicy slow cooked collard greens were ok but not really spicy. Jambalaya was bland with the rice swimming in sauce. Throw in a glass of wine and a cocktail, no dessert, the price for all this was $75 (for two people sharing dishes) before tip. If this was some other place serving the same food at half the price, it would have been acceptable, but coming from the Elite Cafe, where I've eaten quite well before - it was not an experience I'd like to revisit. At least the service was good.
Not strange at all. That's par for the course there. I had a client that loved that place for some reason so I ate there a lot. It's okay, but not on par with other places at that price. It's still a fun room and I like the vibe at the bar, so it's good for a drink and small plate or dessert. The bread pudding is good. Unfortunately, that's an underserved street for eating.