Not seeing a heck of a lot on this board about The Source (maybe there has been a bunch and my search just didn't bring it to me). I'm coming up in a few weeks and would love a great dinner out. Is The Source the place to go? New(ish) things we've already tried include Central, Dino's (not that new, I realize), Rasika, and BB. We don't want to go leave NW (my mother is kindly babysitting, and I'd rather spend our time eating and drinkng than cabbing/metroing). Any thoughts on The Source, or other ideas?
thanks in advance.
I ate at the Source last night for a special occasion. The food was excellent overall, but I had some real issues with the ambiance and presentation.
We had an 8pm reservation at a table located very close to the stairs, and the noise from the crowded bar spilled over and really modified the mood for us. The hostess graciously moved us to a table near the window, with a nicer view and more privacy, and we were less accosted by the bar noise, but the music for me was a serious flaw for a restaurant that aspires to be top-tier. It wasn't even lounge-y, background music -- we had a little CCR, a little modern pop -- I think it was playing at full volume in the bar but I think you would hear it loud and clear almost anywhere in the restaurant area, and we certainly did. Just very inappropriate and it really hampered my fine-dining experience. I can't imagine for a second having a soundtrack to your meal at Citronelle or Komi, unless its something quiet and classy and unobtrusive.
My husband had a not-sweet and refreshing ginger mojito, and the green bean amuse bouche was just fine. I was really shocked, though, to be given disposable chopsticks. Again, The Source should make up its mind -- does it aspire to compete with haute cuisine, as its prices imply? Or if it's in the homier school, then the prices need to come down. But to me it's just fully inappropriate that an Asian-themed fine restaurant with average entree prices around $45-50 cannot provide its guests with beautiful porcelain, or even plastic, non-disposable chopsticks. It's akin to being given plastic utensils instead of silverware, in my opinion.
The appetizers were very nice -- husband had the ahi tuna cones, which he enjoyed, but more for the quality of the fish than for the cone. I found the crab tasting very tasty, especially the Maryland crab, and both sauces well-crafted, which was imperative to lend a background flavor to the fresh and meaty but relatively neutrally-flavored crab.
The entrees were both delicious, but this was perhaps the most jarring part of the evening: my husband had the kobe short ribs, and I had the lamb chops. Out comes a platter, rather than a plate, with two ENORMOUS chops, a nice serving of pea tendril salad, and, a few minutes later, a separate side dish of hunan eggplant -- an extremely generous serving. (My eggplant, by the way, was obviously just off the stove and scorchingly hot -- I burned my tongue instantly. It would have been nice to have been warned to wait a minute).
My husband, on the other hand, is handed a plate with two concentric circles of sauce, and the server starts dishing out spoonfuls of the short ribs onto the plate. It didn't take that long for her to finish. I'd say he had approximately 6-7oz of food on his plate -- to give perspective, his entire main dish was served in the same sized dish in which my eggplant, one of my two side dishes, was served. Meanwhile, I could club someone in the head with one of my chops. The lamb was tender and perfect, the salad crisp and well dressed, the eggplant meltingly creamy. His ribs were exquisitely spiced. But the inequity of portion size was really problematic, and would be embarrasing in other scenarios -- I basically gave him a full chop to fill him up, and was still full myself, but business associates or first daters or any number of other people dining together who aren't in a position to share portions would find the situation really awkward. Not only would most recipients of the ribs be hungry, but it's really acutely embarrasing to eat a monstrous portion of food when someone else is given such a scanty meal.
We kept talking about it trying to figure out how we could have known -- my husband said that in retrospect, maybe he should have known that a kobe beef dish priced at $37 couldn't be large. But I disagree -- first, short ribs are not an expensive cut of any cow, and so would of course be cheaper than the other kobe offering on the menu, a $62 steak. Second, the kitchen should serve portions that are all in a similar range, that are all sufficient to satisfy a customer with an average appetite, and should then price those portions according to ingredient cost.
Of our two desserts, one was outstanding -- a blueberry cake with blueberry ice cream. I can't claim it was my pick, since the description didn't do it justice, but it was anything but boring. The cake had a unique crispy crust both on top and bottom, and a very tender middle. The depth of blueberry flavor in the ice cream was superb. The contrast of texture and temperature gave a lot of distinctness to the two elements of the dish, in spite of the consistency of flavor. It was really a special dessert.
The banana profiteroles, however, were disappointing. The chocolate sauce was very good (and one of my favorite dessert presentations: warmed chocolate sauce poured over the dessert from a small pitcher to preserve the warmth), and the ice cream good as well. But the profiteroles were dry and stale and tasteless, clearly either store-bought or defrosted or both. I can honestly say that my own homemade profiteroles with ice cream are heads and shoulders above this effort, and I don't charge my guests $10 for 3 extremely petite profiteroles.
Overall, the food was quite outstanding, but I think expense combined with the lack of attention to some basic details -- appropriate music, tableware, and portion size -- will keep us from returning. The atmosphere is modern-spartan and nice -- but the bathroom to which I was directed was semi-appaling -- a single stall bathroom, which I found odd, out of toilet seat covers, toilet seat crooked, and trash cans overflowing. That's a big turnoff if your restaurant serves anything other than burgers and beers. I hope The Source will literally and figuratively clean up its act, so all the accoutrements match the cuisine and the prices.
I have eaten at the Source three times -- twice in main restaurant and once in the lounge. There is a lot to like but it can be hit or miss. We really loved the short ribs, although, as stated above, the portion is tiny. The dumplings are excellent. The lobster was also good but definitely overpriced. In the lounge, we liked the Kobe beef sliders but really were unimpressed with the smoked salmon pizza which was cold and otherwise not too different from a bagel with lox and cream cheese. (Except for $22).
Service varies. It can be very good but it also can be indifferent. That is fine at a neighborhood joint, but of course the Source aspires to be more -- as its prices demonstrate.
In short, order carefully. There are some great dishes on the menu, but there are some definite misses. And you will probably feel like you paid too much no matter what, sometimes by about 10 percent but sometimes (like with the pizza) by about 50 percent. That is not to say we wouldn't go back, but we will definitely be careful about what we order.
My husband and I ate at the Source last night for my birthday dinner. I was unfortunately disappointed with its mediocre food and average service. We enjoyed the modern and sleek decor. Service was spotty; we didn't even get our green beans amuse buche. We sat next to the windows and felt a cold draft. I had to keep my coat on throughout dinner. The wait staff and management were too preoccupied hustling about to bring VIP Dick Gephardt's special amuse buche (s) of green beans & the spicy tuna. Oh well.
We had the tiny dumplings, suckling pig, and whole fried fish. All dishes were good, but not sublime. Our experience was inconsistent and subpar.
Thanks so much - thats really helpful. I'm thinking this is what we'll go for. We try to check out a new place each time we come up (about every 3-4 months). I'm looking forward to it. Thanks for the warning on the duck - I loved duck and might have gone with it otherwise.
We have eaten there several times and enjoyed it each time. The green bean amuse bouche is great; crunchy and spicy. Of the appetizers we have had, the big eye tuna, the hamachi, and the crab tasting were the best. The "hand roll" tuna tartare is the most innvoative but not the best. Of the entrees, the red snapper was the best although recently they have used sea bass in the same recipe. The prawns and the scallops were also very good. Only the duck entree disappointed us. The "cherry blossom" dessert was quite disappoiting but the apple/pear dessert was good. Our favorite is the cookie plate; best cookies I have ever had in a restaurant The coffee (organic from Costa Rica) is very good (but mild). Good wine selection is good (although the sommeilier insists the servers go thru a pointless ritual of "priming" the glasses) and the service is very good. Enjoy it !
This is the Wolfgang Puck restaurant that's run by Scott Drewno... I've heard nothing but good things about it, and it's done in classic Wolfgang Puck style, having multiple menus and huge wine list, catering to many different crowds.
Restaurants, Reviews and More -- My Blog: http://www.epicureforum.com