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Chestnut Last Night

First time in Chestnut last night. My dining companion's food was great, mine was not so great. I seemed to order the wrong things.
Appetizer--I had haystack shrimp. Kind of tasted like shrimp flavored potato chips. Was so fried, I didn't really taste the shrimp. My brother had the grilled calamrari, which was absolutely fantastic. Maybe I just don't care for haystack shrimp, and should have ordered s/thing else. Next time I would definitely tget calamari or something else
Entree--Hangar steak. Pretty dry and dissapointing. I could swear the waiter (who was very friendly and helpful) said they recommend medium-rare, but is it possible he said medium-well? Bc steak was pretty dry. My bro had the stuffed pork--delicious.
Dessert--I had Ice creams--excellent.
Overall--I need to go back and order different items.

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  1. I'm not crazy about the haystack shrimp either -- mine have been greasy in the past and kind of bland. Looooove the oxtail with tagliatelle though, and the salt cod brandade is rich and delicious.

    1. Few things about the first post-I have had the haystack shrimp-I can see how it is not for everyone. I dont find fault with their preparation though-not one of my favorite appetizers there. And secondly-a hangar steak is going to be tough when overcooked-no matter what establishment. If you were dis-satisfied; I am positive the manager would have prepared a steak to your liking-medium rare and you would have enjoyed it immensely. I am a big fan of chestnut. Service is always attentive, prices are great, and food in general has always been top-notch.

      1. You appear to be defending the restaurant--I am not criticizing it. I shrugged off shrimp as poor order on my behalf, and noted that calamari was excellent.
        Steak was dry, and that's dissapointing, especially since (a) I was torn btwn steak and pork and the pork i tasted from my brother's plate was delicious, (b) i was going to request it rare, just to be on safe side, and didn't (c) i had read how good it was supposed to be on this website.
        As for sending back--it wasn't awful, I think it would have been awkward to send back, plus, my bro would have had his entree, while i waited for mine...so i ate it, and it wasn't terrible, like i posted, it was just dissapointing .
        And again, like I posted, I desire to come back and try other items.

        1. I agree with you on the haystack shrimp. Really nothing to write home about. I ordered it the last time I was at Chestnut and was underwhelmed. I also happened to order the hanger steak. However, mine was cooked to a perfect medium rare and was one of the best I've ever tasted -- nice char on the outside, tender and perfectly cooked...beefy and delicious. I look forward to ordering it again on my next visit. It sounds like you just had an unfortunately overcooked steak. It is definitely not the norm at chestnut, consider ordering it again. I actually much prefered my steak to my friend's stuffed pork chop. The chocolate budino dessert was totally rich and delicious.

          The prix fixe at chestnut during the week remains one of the best deals ever.

          1. I loved thier grilled calamari. I dream about it. My husband ordered the porkhchop which he loved and I ordered the fish. And as far as I am concerned any establishment that makes lemon verbena ice cream should be given a medal. I dont eat cow ot chicken or pork or any other mammal for that matter but my point is that I have heard that hangar steak isnt a particularly good cut of meat and unless its mooing it will be dry.

            1. I learned my lesson--next time I order calamari and pork for sure.

              1. I went there last saturday and also had a bad dining experience which started with...haystack shrimp! I just think they should take it off the menu if nobody seems to enjoy it. I also made a bad choice with the entree which was the skate. It was just oily and tastless. So if anyone is going, stay away from the shrimp haystach and the skate!

                3 Replies
                1. re: monicagtz

                  So you think a few posts on Chowhound is enough for Chestnut to take something on a menu? " Nobody" seems to enjoy it? Lets see, thats you and someone else...on an internet board.

                  I LOVE the haystack shrimp and so do the 20-30 friends I have turned on to this place.
                  Skate, too. I've had that 3-4 times already.

                  Chestnut seems to be having a backlash to its praise I guess. Too bad. I'll keep going.

                  1. re: monicagtz

                    My wife likes the skate but I dont. Both of us like the haystack shrimp (me more than her). I also like their gumbo and, in season, their softshell crab tacos as apps. Whatever pork they're serving (pork chops now, was pork loin a couple of months ago) is usually very good.

                    1. re: Steve R

                      CHESTNUT has terrific food, and I have never had a bad dish there.

                      Skate is a fish that is not for everyone. If you haven't tried Skate before, and are ordering it because it is a good fish option, think again. I don't like it because of the slimy texture. It is also a difficult fish to prepare.

                      BTW The Haystack Shrimp are excellent. But if you don't like deep fried food, don't order it.