Tabard Inn Last Night
Took my girlfriend and 2 close friends to Tabard last night after a delightful experience there with my girlfriend about a month ago. To say I was less than pleased this time would be an understatement.
For the opening course the orders were as follows: Lobster bisque, Fried camembert, Arugala and Goat Cheese salad, and a Mixed Green Salad. I ordered the camembert for myself and a friend had the lobster bisque- I didn't taste either of the salads. The lobster bisque was underseasond and luke warm when it was served. The camembert was tough and flavorless. This was clearly a hunk of cheese that had been sitting for some time and wasn't fresh.
For the mains we had the Rabbit Leg & Confit, Lobster Pasta, Muscovy Duck & Crabcakes. I only tried the Duck and the Rabbit, which I ordered. The risoto under the duck was terrible. It had terrible texture and was bland. It's like someone didn't bother to season the base in which it was cooked. The duck itself was fatty (and not in that great crispy fat way, in that blubbery why am I sucking this down kind of way) and the duck itself was overcooked. My rabbit was terrible. It was served cool. Now I know confit is not to be served hot, but it shouldn't be served at cooler than room temperature, and certainly rabbit leg shouldn't be served at just slightly warmer than room temperature. Additionally, the leg had 0 flavor to it. I've had a lot of rabbit in my time, and I adore rabbit, but rabbit doesn't taste like chicken thrown in a microwave, and this tasted like microwaved chicken. The gnocci served on the side had no firmness to them either- they were mushy, almost like mashed potatoes put into a gnocci shape.
The only things we had that were worth actually eating were the oysters on the half shell that are exclusive to Tabard Inn.
Needless to stay, we didn't stick around for dessert.
I probably won't return to Tabard Inn for a long great while.
I really hope they're not going downhill. I stopped going to the Tabard years ago because my wife and I moved to Bethesda, but it used to be our favorite restaurant when we were younger. The food was great there for years. I even ended up proposing to my wife there.
I did go there for lunch about 3 years ago, and I still thought it was just as good as I remembered. I've got pretty high standards for food, mind you- for nice meals I mostly frequent Maestro, 2941, 1789, CityZen, etc.
I think your boycott of the place is a bit harsh. You said it was good a month ago, which would lead me to the conclusion that there's a very good chance they simply had an off night. If they were good a month ago, they can be good a month from now...
Sad to say the service at the Tabard Inn is also on the downswing. We were regulars there when we still lived in Dupont and were doing our Pre-Cana marriage at St. Matthew;s rectory across the street. We would go every Wednesday after our meeting, and by our final visit, we took it off our favorites list - owing mostly to the almost abusive service we received. The food was good for the most part, and we did not experience the same abysmal food that jpschust unfortunately was served. It is always such a let down when a happily anticipated dinner occasion with friends goes so wrong.
I've always thought it was just a nice place to relax and have a good cocktail with friends. It never occurred to me to actually order food since it's almost always recieved such mixed reviews.