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disappointing meal at Chestnut

My wife and I decided to have a nice early dinner on new year's eve and after reading lots of raves here- decided on Chestnut. We both got the potato leek soup, and she ordered the Hangar Steak and I had the Pumpkin Ravioli. We also ordered a bottle of Shiraz which was good
The soup was BLAND. Not just a little bit, but old age home bland. The leeks were good, but when we each had some soup without them, it just wasn't good. My wife's steak came out ice cold and was over salted. The only high point was my ravioli which was quite tasty, but nothing I couldn't get as good if not better at Noodle Pudding for much cheaper.

Did we just get the place on an off night? The food was so uneven, I can't see myself giving the place the place another shot. I would like to think that I can spend over $100 in brooklyn, and actually get what I pay for. Please tell me it was just an off night...

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  1. I've now been to Chestnut 10-15 times abd think it is one of Brooklyn's best.
    You did indeed experience an off night.

    " Bland" " Ice cold"? " Over salted"?

    Hard to believe, honestly.

    1. I think you hit it on an off night. Typical of many restaurants on New Years Eve.

      We tried it a couple of months back and had a lovely meal at a fantastic price. I'm still dreaming of that cookie plate at the next table. Looking forward to our next visit.

      If you do decide to try it again go on Tuesday or Wednesday for their prix fixe.

      1. I've virtually always had great meals at Chestnut. The one and only time I was dissatisfied was right before they closed for a few weeks (I forget now when they do it, but they do it yearly, closing for a few weeks). They were out of many things that night and everything tasted a bit haphazard. But that was the only time.

        1. I'm going to agree with the others & say that you hit an off night and that N.Years eve may have contributed. I've never had any of the dishes you ordered, so I cant compare the experiences specifically. I recommend that you try again but go on a Tues or Wed for the pre-fixe $25pp (3 courses of anything except 2 entree items on the menu). The price pressure will be off and you'll be able to check out other dishes. I seriously recommend the haystack shrimp app and the pork entree. 3 scoops of ice cream for dessert.

          By the way, I think Noodle Pudding is right up there with Chestnut regardless of price. One of my other favorite places to go.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Steve R

            thanks for all the input- I'm sure that new year's eve had something to do with it. The service was excellent by the way. Maybe we'll give it another shot during a prix fixe.

          2. Well... I have to say, I also had a disapointing experience at Chestnut. I live nearby and went for the prix fixe. The service was pretty terrible, and I'm usually not picky about that but we were ignored for a long time. The food was generally unremarkable. Nothing horrible, just nothing really good given all the hype

            1 Reply
            1. re: kcc2004

              What in particular didnt you like about the food? Chestnut really isnt about particularly innovative food. It's more a fresh seasonal local produce kinda place...straight forward food done well, the sort of meal I used to enjoy getting in san francisco when I lived there.

              The pork is great, the heirloom tomato salad is superb, love the haystack shrimp that Steve mentioned. And they do, hands down, the best sunday brunch in the area.

            2. It wasn't really an off night b/c we had early New Year's Eve dinner there too and thoroughly enjoyed the warm service and delicious food. The buckwheat blini w/gravlax app was a standout, I had the Hangar steak that was done perfectly medium rare as ordered, and we were totally happy with the pasta entree, the cocktails, foccaccia, and decadent chocolate budino dessert. We have become fans in a short time so I hope that they at least stay consistent, even if they're not perfect.

              1. CHESTNUT is usually terrific. It may have been an off night or what you ordered.

                1. Actually had a wonderful meal there on NYE ourselves, earlyish for the occasion (8pm). Hangar steak was perfectly medium, wife's oxtail pappardelle similarly delicious (and ditto to the buckwheat crepe app). We did notice when we came in that there was a fairly large table finishing up--maybe that had something to do with an uneven kitchen earlier in the night?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: P.D. Wheatstraw

                    Now that I think more about it- there was a large group when we were there (7ish), and I remember the table next to us getting the wrong wine. The kitchen was apologetic and the couple got to keep the bottle (it was a more expensive bottle) for the same price, so all in all it worked out. But it nonetheless might be another indicator that we went at an "off" time.

                    Maybe we'll try a prix fixe soon- if we go, i'll report back with the -hopefully- better results.

                  2. Intrigued by this thread I went to Chestnut last night for the first time in about a year. The food was all solid and the service relaxed and friendly. It's a wonderful feeling to be that stuffed and content on delicious food for $25.

                    1. We were also there NYE at 8. My wife had the hangar steak which was hot and perfectly done and I had the pork chop which was also delicious, as were the sides. Service was also fine. Our friends enjoyed their food also.