I checked it out a couple of months ago, after having a good experience at one in Cyprus. It's a fun idea, with so much monotony in dinning it's a welcome break from the norm.
The food itself was just okay, nothing spectacular. The staff were all very pleasant, but the venue itself didn't do much for me.
It's an odd kind of franchise, the restaurant didn't seem to share anything in common with the one I went to in Cyprus, when I asked they didn't even know about it.
I ate there last week with my husband. The space is quite beautiful and modern-- lots of dark wood, contemporary furniture and setings.
The food is expensive though. Mains run $20 plus. Essentially, you get raw food on a super heated tile which cooks as you're eating it. I had the striploin and my husband had the tenderloin. Both were good, but the effusive waiter kept telling us it'd be "the best steak we'd ever had." It was decent, but nothing like the steak we had at the Allen's steak festival in February, which really is the best.
The main doesn't come with a proper side... you have to order an additional plate. We had a potato dish with manchego cheese. Quite yummy, but expensive. Dessert is fine, although I've had far better.
The staff are pleasant and helpful, but the food is expensive for what essentially is a "cook-it-yourself". It's rather neat that the food stays hot for the duration of the meal since it's slowly cooking on the stone. That having been said, for over a $100 for two (meal, wine and tip), it is hardly a bargain since it's pretty basic mealwise. It's a novelty dinner, fun but I wouldn't return too soon, especially in a city where we have great chefs who turn out works of art for that price.
re: Lotus Seedling
I ate their last night with my girlfriend and we had a wonderful evening.
I will admit though that i love dining experiences that have some interaction or different methods involved.
We had the poppy crusted ahi appetizzer and enjoyed it a great deal, it was perfectly cooked. For mains I had the 8oz Bison Rib eye which was delicious and cooked perfectly and eaten hot off the lava stone. My girlfriend ordered the striploin and jumbo scallops, the scallops were absolutely phenomenal!
We chose to orer an additional siode each in addition to what comes with the mains and enjoyed the asparagus (although small serving), the sauteed spinach , rosted potatoes in garlic, manchego butter and by the far the best side was the gnocchi in gorgonzola white wine cream sauce.
Our desserts were the key lime cheesecake, we thought the cheesecake was better than the phyllo crust, and the wild blueberry coulis was great. I had the Chocolate and banana souffle which was quite nice as well
The Stonegrill On Winchester was a wonderful evening out, especially to enjoy a unique method of cooking. Our dinnerwith cocktails and wine was certainly not cheap at $185.00 but a nice dinner for a treat.
Addtional sides, cocktails AND wine would make for a large bill. Your mileage may vary.
I too feel if I have to cook it myself (and being slightly pyrophobic) I'd rather bbq at home with some nice stuff from St Jamestown Steak & Chops.
The brunch is free from any DIY duties and is quite nice. If you were thinking of checking it out, I would suggest a lazy Sunday afternoon sipping wine, eating eggs, and listening to live jazz. There's nothing else like it in the neighbourhood.
I can only speak to the ambiance since I wandered in one day to check it out. It's a warm and woody room. Quite pretty really. Haven't dined there yet. I hesitate because it's a chain and the mother website only details that it's the "hottest concept in dining" and how you too can become a franchisee. I find that offputting to say the least. There are a few new independent places opening on or near Parliament that I find more compelling.
Here's what Now had to say: