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Question about The Linkery

c
clayfu Feb 19, 2007 08:29 PM

my friends and i are planning a get together there on friday night.

has anyone experienced the wait time or crowds there on a friday night for a potential party of 6-7?

  1. n
    naven Feb 24, 2007 04:10 PM

    Let us know how it goes. The food and service can be a dice roll, but they are so creative and I love what Jay is trying to do, so we keep going back. Plus, the beers are consistently amazing.

    2 Replies
    1. re: naven
      c
      clayfu Feb 25, 2007 07:53 PM

      You are on spot.

      we were seated pretty quickly but we sat in the side room, where it was abnormally dark. Just a small candle for a table for 5.

      Service was interesting, cause we had about 3 different waitresses and Jay come to us and ask if we need an explanation on the menu, if we've ordered, what drinks we need, and etc etc. A little bit overwhelming, but it was fine.

      Food wasn't bad at all. I liked the Trout i had yet.... it looked and tasted like salmon *shrug*.

      my buddies porkchops were good, we tried every sausage and it was okay, some were significantly better than others.

      But the beers were good, they gave us samples of one of the European beers, easily one of the best beers i've had in awhile.

      i'll do a more detailed review in the next few days.

      http://clayfood.blogspot.com

      1. re: clayfu
        Joseph Feb 25, 2007 09:01 PM

        According to Jay's blog, the "trout" was and oceangoing species from tasmania. That sound a lot like the Steelhead I grew up eating, fresh out of the Klamath river. It tastes quite a bit like salmon, and some think it is closely related, but it's not commonly seen around here.

    2. c
      clayfu Feb 24, 2007 02:37 PM

      we actually decided to go this sunday, we had some conflicting schedules so yep! glad to hear your write up about the 6 ways pork belly, i really wanted to try it after reading the menu.

      thanks so much for the quick review mangiatore =)

      1 Reply
      1. re: clayfu
        m
        mangiatore Feb 24, 2007 02:56 PM

        No problem! I'm having doubts about something though -- I may have mixed up the Portuguese and Mexican sausages...the one we liked was the lighter-colored one.

      2. m
        mangiatore Feb 24, 2007 12:38 PM

        clayfu, did you end up going? I was there last night.

        The service was great. When we got there, there was a 45 minute wait, so we put our name in and they took our number. Get this: instead of calling us, the guy running the place walked across the street to the bar we were at and picked us up! Unheard of in this day and age. The waittress gave about the most thorough menu explanation I've ever received and overall was a great server. I also really liked the atmosphere. I have to say that I think their "no tipping" policy is misleading -- you can't use the words "no tipping" and then charge an 18 percent "service" charge! That said, the waittress deserved 20 percent.

        The food was hit and miss, but I want to state this upfront -- I will go back, and not just because of the service and atmosphere but also because I have to respect their creativity -- the hits were hits and the misses were misses.

        The current menu is in celebration of their 3rd anniversary and is effective through the 26th. I went with two friends and we shared 3 different plates. Here's a breakdown of our meal:

        Picnic plate with two links, chef’s choice of two artisan cheeses, rustic bread, red wine onions and dipping sauce 15.5

        Of the four links available, we chose the Mexican and the Portuguese. We all preferred the Portuguese. The Mexican was slightly overcooked and a little overpowering, but tasty enough. I believe the cheeses were a semi-aged cheddar and something akin to a roquefort. Both were pretty good. The red wine onions were sweet and interesting, the bread was fine. I found the dipping sauces unneccesary and a little gimmicky. When you've got sausages as creative as these with several ingredients meant to balance each other, what do you need a dipping sauce for? Overkill.
        ---------------------------------
        Mixed vegetable grill with daily selection of vegetables, fruits and dipping sauces. Can be vegan. 12

        Same dipping sauces, better use of them. Nice veggies. A solid if standard plate.
        ---------------------

        Pork belly 6 ways. Duroc-breed pork belly from Vande Rose Farms served 1) braised & grilled, 2) confit 3) hot smoked, 4) house dry cured, 5) as house made pancetta and 6) as house cured bacon, served with house made sauerkraut, house made spicy mango mustard, tangy BBQ sauce, and house pickled vegetables 28

        We thought the ultra-fatty confit and braised/grilled were succulent and delicious, as was the bacon. The hot smoked was good. We did not like the house dry cured or the pancetta (too salty, and the consistency was too pasty-fatty). All were very salty but the good ones were good enough to get away with it. The sauerkraut was overcooked but sweet and flavorful. The house pickled vegetables were really interesting. First time I've tried an artichoke that tasted like an apple. Pretty interesting.

        3 Replies
        1. re: mangiatore
          Joseph Feb 24, 2007 02:52 PM

          Did you have any wine or beer? The local cask-conditioned ales are consistently excellent.

          I think your assessment was spot-on "The food was hit and miss, but I want to state this upfront -- I will go back, and not just because of the service and atmosphere but also because I have to respect their creativity -- the hits were hits and the misses were misses".

          I've had a couple of dishes which didn't do much for me. Sometimes grass-feed beef brisket turns out dry and tough. But I appreciate what they are trying. And the high points have been excellent. Personally, I would rather have a few great dishes on a frequently-changing menu than a few good, consistent favorites that never change. If Jay isn't going to raise the prices out of the range that most people (myself included) are willing to spend, there is no way to serve that sort of local and responsible food without a lot of risks and innovation.

          The tipping policy is a great idea. I would prefer that they include the service fee in the menu prices, but unless that idea becomes common across the country the menu would seem too expensive. For me 18% is a step down, so no complaints. I do think the service improved after the change-over.

          1. re: Joseph
            m
            mangiatore Feb 24, 2007 03:06 PM

            My friend and I had a glass of prosecco for old times' sake (we used to live in the Veneto where prosecco is from), which was fine and cheap as hell ($2.25/glass!). My other friend got one of their cask beers -- some sort of stout. I tried it and thought it was a little sweet, but I still liked it.

            Sounds like we're on the same page with the food. I agree -- I'd rather the chef goes for it and knocks my socks off half the time than eat ok food all the time. Good for him.

            I guess we just disagree on the tipping policy. I am a firm believer in the art of tipping and don't think a restaurant should ever include an automatic service charge over 10 percent unless it's a big group. What if the service had sucked? I would have been livid that I HAD to add 18 percent to the check. If the service is good I've been known to tip 25 percent, but if it's bad why the heck should I have to tip anything? In the U.S., the whole concept of service revolves around tipping and that is precisely why service is better here than in Europe, where there is no incentive for a server to give anything more than acceptable service.

            1. re: Joseph
              The Chowhound Team Feb 24, 2007 03:26 PM

              Folks, general discussions of tipping are off topic for this board, and we will delete any more discussion of this restaurant's tipping policy. You are welcome to start a new thread on the subject on our Not About Food board.

          2. e
            el_rodeo1 Feb 20, 2007 03:01 PM

            Food was great...It would be worth the wait

            1. j
              jlls Feb 20, 2007 01:10 PM

              Last time I was there, a large group came by early, put their names in and left a cell phone # to be called when their table was ready- then they went over to the Blue Foot Bar around the corner until they were called because the bar area in the Linkery was already crowded. This was a Saturday night around 7ish, and I have no idea how long they waited, but it probably wasn't more than an hour.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jlls
                c
                clayfu Feb 20, 2007 04:15 PM

                ah! perfect solution. thank you very much =)

              2. c
                clayfu Feb 19, 2007 11:01 PM

                sweetness. thx for the help!
                if anyone has experiences with larger parties, please leave me a note!

                1. Alice Q Feb 19, 2007 10:34 PM

                  If you know exactly how many will be in your party and what time you will be there - you might want to shoot Jay an email and give him a heads up. They don't exactly take reservations, but I bet he'd appreciate some advance notice. I don't think they have very many tables in there that seat more than 4 people. You can reach him through the restaurant's website.

                  1. c
                    clayfu Feb 19, 2007 08:44 PM

                    serve me FREE beer? haha.
                    *here's to hoping*

                    i just hate waiting at a place for more than a hour

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: clayfu
                      Josh Feb 19, 2007 08:49 PM

                      If you can get there early, you'll be happier.

                    2. Josh Feb 19, 2007 08:30 PM

                      I've seen it be busy at those times. They will serve you beer, though, while you wait. They have some really good ones available, so that's a pretty nice time-killer.

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