Restaurant Eve - Not what I had hoped
I was so excited for my first visit to Rest. Eve. My brother and I took my father there the weekend after Christmas to celebrate his Bday. Sadly, it didn't live up to my expectations. After all I'd read and heard, I went expecting to fall in love.
We had reservations in the Bistro and they sat us at a 4-top next to a windowed-door that leads to a narrow outside walkway outside used by the kitchen staff. We didn't mind seeing the hussle and bussle of the staff, but what we did mind was the dirty large industrial mop bucket parked right outside the door next to my father's seat. We commented to the Manager who promptly removed it. Our waitress also apologized. It was handled well, just not something you'd expect to have to be handled at a restaurant of that calibur. I noticed it from across the room as we were escorted to our table, so it blew me away that no one on staff had tended to it, considering they'd been open and seating guests for an hour before we arrived.
Next, the service. With both our main courses and our desserts, the server (in neither case was it our waitress) didn't know who ordered what. Not only did he miss on the first try, but also the second. Since there were only three of us, the third time was the charm. But the exact same scenario played out with the subsequent course. We just looked at one another in amazement. It was extremely awkward the first time, but inexcusable the second.
Our appetizers and entrees were very good. Impressive and creative combinations of ingredients and flavors. Exactly what I expected (though I thought the portion sizes could have been a bit more generous for the prices - but just an aside, not a complaint). However, we all thought that the dessert that my dad and brother shared missed the mark. I'm struggling to remember what it was now, but it was a small cake (might have been pumpkin and apple ??) that was a bit dry and nothing special, with a caramel sauce that was delectable, and a scoop of what looked like heavy whipped cream. Though it was warm and sour (cream fraiche maybe?). None of us liked it, particularly as a complement to the cake. I ended up giving them my scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream from my ice cream trio.
So that was my lackluster first visit to Rest. Eve. I am certain that I'm in the minority, and I'm hoping that my fellow Hounds will convince me to give it another try.
Granted, they'd been closed the four days prior over Christmas. This was their first night back, but I still don't think that's an excuse. I intended to write the chef/owner because I'm sure he'd want to know, but I just haven't taken the time yet.
This was my father's second visit (first was in the Tasting Room). He was disappointed too, but quick to point out that his first visit was very different. Which is why he'd picked the bistro for his bday dinner.
I'd have the say the low point of my visit to Restaurant Eve was the desserts, too. I had the gianduia waffles and my husband had the not your birthday cake. Both were dry and disappointing. But, I still rave about the coffee--possibly the best cup I've ever had. FWIW, I've made the Restaurant Eve recipe for the cake several times and it's wonderful so we might have had an off day.
My real complaint is their "Birthday cake." Once upon a time (i.e. three years ago) Restaurant Eve baked a full birthday cake and would serve a slice when this was ordered. Now they have individually iced cakes that, for me, taste like Safeway rejects. Three years ago their cakes were among the best of any restaurant I have ever had a slice of cake in. Today, well....
Can someone from Eve please explain why a great slice of cake was replaced with a stand alone Tasty kake wannabe? I don't mean to be so critical of something with seemingly so little important but Eve once baked a GREAT cake. I miss it. The individual cake is a very pale imitation.
Even the best restaurants have an off day. I've been going for years and never had less than stellar service, but I never go on the weekend or a Friday.
Some restaurants are known for their desserts, some for their cocktails. Eve is definitely the latter.
A friend took me to Eve for my birthday in mid-December and I was profoundly disappointed. I gave a full review on my blog, so I won't repeated it here . . . but I went in expecting/hoping it would be one of the best meals of my life. It fell far short. I'll likely give it a shot again some day, but I'll be saving my pennies for some of DC's other restaurants first.