Exposure - South Loop
Hubby and I tried Exposure in the South Loop in October. Not sure how it looks now, but it looked half-finished when we were there - sawdust in the corners, blank spaces on the walls, etc.
The decor: skimpy sheer curtains that looked straight out of Ikea amongst riveted leather chairs and heavy riveted-velvet booths. Mismatched in a way that looked haphazard and silly rather than kitsch.
Drinks: we, thinking we were at a tapas restaurant (which they advertise to be), requested a pitcher of sangria. Our waitress said they didnt have sangria by the pitcher and not only that, they didn't have "traditional" sangria but they had "sangria with a twist" which we could only order by the glass.
"What was the twist?", we asked. She didn't know.
Neither did the bartender for that matter. I 'think' what they served us was cheap red wine, orange sections and tequila - all equal parts. It was disgusting. Undrinkable really, and I can't imagine that the bartender actually tried that concoction prior to serving it.
Secondly, one thing you absolutely expect in a tapas restaurant is a stack of clean plates on the table - if not a stack - severly attentive service to replace your small plate. This place had neither. Actually, asking for a clean 5" plate seemed like a put-off to their staff.
When we ordered: one of the things I ordered was a cheese fondue. I had a choice of cheeses. I asked the waitress if they were mixed or two separate fondues. She didn't know. Anyhow, it was to be served with seasonal fruits, veggies and artistan breadS. What I got was a coagulated muck of cheese - cooked past comprehension - no veggies, brownish grapes that didn't look like they even got rinsed, and a dried-out airy white loaf (one kind, not breadS,). And that cost $16.50.
Hubby ordered from th raw bar. He ordered a shrimp ceviche at a price of $4 per shrimp. The waitress asked if he wanted two orders, or two shrimp, but...wasn't sure how many shrimp might be in an order. Anyhoo... hat he got was shrimp cocktail. And we could have found better if not as good, shrimp cocktail at Costco.
We also tried to order to lobster ceviche, which was $19, and thankfully (hindsight) they were out of it. I think that's steep pricing for tapas so far. Once you break the $8 mark, it's not longer tapas.
Other things we ordered:
Lamb skewers: good and juicy, a Mediterraean flavor
Chicken skewers: most but one prety pink chunk which we didnt touch
Shrimp: charred to rubber - so over-cooked it wasn't even close to funny
Then we ordered a 2nd (replacement) drink : basic: a margarita with Patron. 15 minutes later, the waitress came back to say they were out of Patron. I felt like saying: in the time it took them to figure that out, I could have walked the block to Jewel and back and bought them a bottle.
They completely FORGOT to cook two fo our tapas.
Our final two tapas came out 1 hour and 25 minutes after we arrived. (Which was on a Wednesday night around 6pm.)
One of those was a gorgonzola au gratin which was good. Well, actually those are two of my favorite things so in order for it to be down-graded to average, it would have had to have a hair in it.
The other was crab cakes: seared and crispy on the outside, tender inside with a pesto cream.
So the waitress sent her manager over to appease us since she forgot to put two (or three) of our tapas orders in. Here's the deal: I don't work as hard as I do to go out to eat for a waste of time and to beg off some free food. I go for the flavors, the experience and the fun of it. So the $12 bonus to our bill was under-appreciated. Even more so after we went to the valet and re-noticed the buy-one-get-one-free sandwhich board out front. So really we got no favors.
So. in the scheme of things. This experience doesn't matter. I just wont waste time at it again.
Oh. and on the way out, I stopped by the restroom which was right by the bar. They were NOT out of Patron. Actually I saw 3 versions of it.
Bottom line: this aint tapas: it's over-glorified bar food with bad service.