Downtown Atlantic disappointment
Well it's taken us nearly 4 years in the neighborhood to finally get around to going, despite various people telling us how good it was.
Well last night, after a couple of drinks at Deity, and esp with the rain hammering down as it was, we decided to pop in. I still really dont like the decor of the place, and I think it's why I usually don't decide to go. there's something a little depressing about the dining room, that I can't put my finger on. Maybe it's the lighting?
Anyway, we were seated promptly as the bar was more busy with jersey clad football fans than the dining room which was maybe half full, maybe a little more than that.
Service was bad. I only spotted two waiters, so it could have been an understaffing thing. But inordinately long waits went between ordering drinks and getting them (and we were off the alcohol at dinner, having just come from a bar, so this was a wait for cokes). And then long waits between the two courses, and a huge wait for the bill.
We shared a special of mussels to start with. They were pretty plump, which was nice. But the sauce was unremarkable.
For mains, he had another special of fish and chips and I had their pulled pork sandwich. maybe it's unfair to judge the fish and chips, him being a brit and all, but it wasn't good at all. The fries were overcooked and very stiff. The fish was one rectangular piece that was more breaded than it was battered, and the breading wouldnt stay on the fish..meaning the breading ended up in a limp pile by half way through the dish, and the fish had a cloying outside on it, from whatever was supposed to keep the breading on. It was also served with their 'version' of tarter sauce, which was actually not remotely like tarter sauce. It was like an odd take on a curry sauce, which satisfied neither my husband, nor the man at the table next to us, who was much more vocal about his displeasure ;)
The pork, which I'd been told was one of their best dishes, was better but still not great. It was tender, but I found it to be oversauced with the sweet bbq sauce...which meant I couldn't really taste the pork, and the sauce became overpowering by half way through the dish. Same lousy fries. I think we both left half our dishes untouched.
Anyway, it's one less place we've been "meaning to go to", but I can't see rushing back there.much as I hate to judge a place by one mediocre meal.
We have had about 5 meals there and the decor of the place I think is summed up in their choice of chair. I feel like I am back on Rt 3 in NJ. DA starts out appealing from the street but once you enter and as you move down towards the back its like they gave up. All 5 of our meals have been very mediocre and I cant remark on them more than that. We had out of town friends come in and they liked it. That said we have friends who have kids who do enjoy this place for obvious reasons. I think the last time we were there the only thing I enjoyed was the red pepper hummus they put out with the bread. And I hate their cupcakes, they are a perfect metaphor for this restaurant, pretty on the outside not so tasty on the inside.
That sums it up entirely on the decor Ljubitca. When we first moved to the area, I thought it looked charming from the outside. When I went in to buy cupcakes and looked at the dining room, I was so disappointed. It feels like the sort of place you could very comfortably go with kids, but not the sort of vibe you want for a friday night out (maybe a better place for mid week dining).
Steve I remember you particularly telling me about the pulled pork, which is why I tried it and wanted to like it. I didn't hate it, mind you. And perhaps its the fact that I've recently had amazing 'real thing' pulled pork in Austin. They need to tone down the sweetness of the sauce I think, and use less of it, in my opinion...though it's not a dish I claim in any way to be an expert on. I do like the version at Waterfront much more.
the cupcakes are to die for - there is no denying that.
and the food itself is generally solid. i haven't had anything i didn't pretty much clean off my plate.
that being said, my boyfriend and i constantly argue about going here. i can't seem to articulate a precise reason why i never want to go...but the best i can do, is focus it down to the decor, service, atmosphere combo. the result: i always leave feeling a little bit cold and depressed.
though it does seem very kid friendly.
Ach, Nehna! I'm sorry for your mediocre meal. I've had better luck there, and don't mind the room (although I can't say that it's lovely). The pulled pork sandwich never did it for me, but people that we both know like it a lot. I really like their shrimp po' boy and the Asian chicken salad is very good; two of us usually split that as a starter. Their bucatini with wild bore ragu is usually pretty good, if a little uneven. And there was another time when the chicken in the Asian chicken salad was just hammered. But that was one time in ten, and if it had been my first time there I wouldn't have returned.
We've never experienced the service issues you describe and I wonder if there was something unusual afoot. But I am disappointed that the place let you down.
You should give them another chance. Maybe in another 4 years?
re: Deb Van D
Deb Van D: "The pulled pork sandwich never did it for me, but people that we both know like it a lot".
You talkin' to me? Although it can be uneven at times, Ginny and I go so often that I cant even begin to be objective about the place. The roast chicken dinner is also good, as are the burgers. So's the shrimp roll app. By the way, I like the sauce on the pulled pork, although I admit that my other go to place, Waterfront Ale House, is more the real thing. Whenever there are pork chops, they're worth getting. I've never tried the fish and chips, so I cant say much about it (I'm not fond of it in the best of places, so I wouldnt know anyway) but I usually really like their fries. Sorry Nehna... sounds like you just had one of those nights there. Although I admit that the room wont be different any other time, the service sure is... at least what I remember (we eat at the bar a lot). We're probably watching the Super Bowl there tomorrow. I hope I still like it. :-)