Recap of visit to Bloom (Scottsdale)
A group of friends and business associates and I went to Bloom on Friday evening (in large part guided by positive reviews on Chowhound - two avid hounds in the party.)
We had a really positive experience there. We found the restaurant full (though they were quite helpful in servicing a reservation for our party of eight) but the service and timing were all spot on. Prices weren't exceptional to us (perhaps we'd been so shell shocked by prices at the Hyatt Resort at which our conference was held that Bloom's seemed reasonable in comparison!) with entree prices in the mid to high 20s.
My partner and I shared a chopped spinach salad with apple, pecans, and a bleu cheese dressing - beautifully executed and presented. Others in our party had the "everything" chopped salad; others had the roasted vegetable soup - all reported happiness with their selections.
For entrees, I had the sherry-braised short ribs with sweet corn and baby green beans; my partner had the seared ahi (served atop baby bok choy and wasabi potato), and others in our party ordered the duck, the ribeye, the meat loaf, and the roast chicken with bowtie pasta. Through my swoon - these were the best short ribs I've ever had - I heard lots of pleasurable sounds from my cohorts.
We shared a number of the desserts, including the house specialty "sin bars" - layers of chocolate mousse, toffee cookies, and dark chocolate glaze- a second dark chocolate mousse torte, a key lime tart (topped with fresh sorbet), a pineapple bread pudding, and an apple/walnut tart. Again, none of these disappointed us, though we couldn't finish them. I brought an extra order of the sin bars home for a couple of elderly female relatives - they report that three days later, their eyes are still rolled back in their sockets :-)
So all told, we're fans of Bloom and wish we had one closer to home (Northern California). In our opinion, the food was on par with that we've had at Chez Panisse (on the cafe side). Many thanks to those who recommended the restaurant - made us the heroes of the party!
My wife and I just had dinner at Bloom. We have been there on a few occasions and the food is fairly good, especially the roast duck, and the prices are not out of line.
the wine program is also quite good with numerous wines by the glass.
We were seated around 8.15 and had placed our orders for starters and mains by 8.30. By 9.03 we had wiped our lips and the bill was on the table.
This gives new meaning to the concept of fast food.
Mr Fox, please tell your servers that the customers are there to dine and to experience an evening out, not to wolf down a meal and be shown the door in 30 min. We had a similar experience at The Green House. Food was pretty decent there too.
On the other hand, (as long as I am ranting) Olives and Ivy was truly awful
re: neville nosher
Also had an awful, awful, awful Olive & Ivy dinner experience with a similar feel. Totally forced us out the door.
It was one of those can't lose "as we had a Fox gift certificate" meals where I searched for reviews on the BlackBerry for a kick (and found Seftel's review saying it's worth a vist to see how soul-less it can be). Was mildly amused at first. Not at all by the end. Just one thing on top of another until I was twitching to bolt out the door. Couldn't stand it. Food wasn't good. Seated us in an annoying table (just under the computer on the wall where everybody came to key in their orders) while the place was 2/3 empty, the waiter was horrifying & disinterested, they rushed us out the door, the food was weak. I think the waiter was the worst part. He could not have cared any less that we were there. We were a complete inconvenience for him. I'm guessing that even though it was Fox gift certificate that we could have done much better.
Am also not a big Bloom fan. We used to go there for work lunches all the time and it was universally liked by everyone about 3 or 4 years back. Somewhere along the line, things got bad and we've been turned off ever since & have rarely been back. Not sure what happened there.
All of the Fox Dining establishments have a habit of clearing plates while you are still dining. I find that extremely rude....I don't enjoy feeling rushed to finish my meal....as the wait staff is clearing the other dishes. Can't they wait until the party is finished dining? I find this very disconcerting and rude.
I have always enjoyed the food @ Bloom and North.....but find I have to tell the wait staff to wait to clear the table.
Ciaogal, I find it rude as well, especially if you have just two people dining!
Years ago my parents told me about their little "trick" to keep waiters from clearing the table. Even if one of them has a completely empty plate, as soon as a staff member starts coming in their direction, the person with the empty plate picks up a utensil and starts pushing it around the plate. That usually causes staff to retreat.
Restaurants need to find the balance between turning tables and letting diners have a relaxed experience. I have been places that have managed to achieve this balance, and I don't think it is really that hard.
Back to Bloom - I am curious as to what other CH'ers think - is Fox suffering from too much, too fast? I watched a BBC Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares last night (so much better and less-sensationalized than the Fox version, of course) and he pointed out to an owner who was experiencing much success and had lost her way quality-wise that she didn't have to take every single reservation that came in, nor did she have to expand just because her food was in demand. Perhaps Fox has become too focused on the corporate-defined version of success and has forgotten his passion, which used to be the food.
Heh - I had lunch there on Friday and it was the best food I've ever had at Bloom. I had the Crispy Chicken entree and it was like Thanksgiving.
It was a 1/2 chicken served over a housemade stuffing with green beans and a cranberry compote. I thought it might be a bit heavy for a September afternoon but to my chagrin it was fantastic. The chicken might have been a touch overcooked but it wasn't something to ruin the meal ( and given the choice, I'd rather have overcooked chicken than undercooked ). Easily the best dish I have ever had there. I've been a couple times before and been underwhelmed but that's not to say that it was bad - just average. But this was definitely great. Highly recommended to anyone who gets to Bloom while this is still on the menu ( unless it's a menu staple; in which case, take your time ).