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Icky Icarus

On the advice of a fellow hound, we decided to give Icarus a try tonight and everything - service, food, ambiance - was so disappointing.

When we walked in the place stunk like fish. It continued to be rank throughout the meal. Ewww. Now to the food. My husband had a peanut noodle salad appetizer that honestly tasted like the prepared version I buy at Whole Foods. My polenta with goat cheese was fine, I guess. Our mains were not good. We had a chili glazed pork loin and a bluefish. The pork loin was a poor cut that was so tough, gristly and tasteless that we left most of it uneaten. The corn side was good, though I suppose its tough to mess up corn cut off the cob. The fish was covered in bitter char and the accompanying pilaf was so spicy that I couldn't eat it. Our desserts were the high point, a tender peach cobber and a nicely smooth chocolate cake.

I think the desserts may have actually been good enough to make a memorable meal had the service not been so impersonal. I know it is a tough job being a server, but our waitress was practically a zombie. Not once did she make eye contact. We had to flag down others for water, bread and our bill. Yet she managed to keep her eyes on the prize and found a nice big friendly smile for the table of older, well dressed ladies next to us.

We (unknowingly) went during their 3 courses for 30 dollars menu. Does this explain our experience, or is it just par for the course?

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  1. Sorry for your disappointing experience. I have had many lovely meals at Icarus and the service has always been in the acceptable to outstanding range. I can imagine an off dish here and there, but the total wipeout that you describe doesn't fit with my experience, or the restaurant's generally good reputation. You should email the management and let them know about your experience, as I'm sure they would want make right by you and fix the problem.

    1. I had dinner at Icarus this past Tuesday. No fishy smell, the food was delicious (my DCs had the pork and the bluefish, I had the risotto), and our waiter was excellent! I agree that the peach cobbler was fabulous. Sorry you did not enjoy your meal. FoonFan's advice is good - let management know.

      1. This was the way I recently described Icarus' annual birthday celebration: "Think of it as an above-average Restaurant Week meal, in a nicer than average setting, with a chance to really not save any money by buying nice wine, and you get the idea." Your meal, especially with the disinterested service, sounds more like a typical underwhelming Restaurant Week experience, which is too bad; I've gone to a few of these August discount dinners over the years and had better luck. I imagine you'd find it rather different when they're not doing this promotion.

        1. I do not think I have ever had a piece of pork loin that was gristly. Often overcooked and/or bland yes, but not ususally gristly.

          1. went for $30 menu. had house cured cod app: awful, oversalted, dry, polenta app OK, steak salad very average, main dishes: bluefish: outstanding, pork shoulder: bad, tough meat, peach cobbler was good for desert, chocolate ganache ok
            booth seating very uncomfortable seats, not enough room for 4 adults
            we probably got the same zombied waitress.
            white santenay was good though

            1. I recently went to Icarus' during their anniversary and had as good of service as I've had any other time I've been there. We probably lucked out with our service, but I also overlapped with you on the pork, which I agree was really tough, but not at all gristly. I did really enjoy the watermelon and peanut salad as well as the corn side, which I would have preferred be pudding.

              To start, I had corn, potato and bacon chowder. Flavors were fresh and clean, corn obviously very fresh. Dessert was the peach cobbler, which was absolutely perfect. I did steal a few bites of my DC's bluefish and quinoa main dish, which was unbelievable. I should have ordered that.

              1 Reply
              1. re: gini

                As gini's DC, I agree fully with her comments. I thought the service was great - when I asked about the wine paired with my entree, he poured me a small taste to ensure I liked it before proceeding. Pours for the half-glass pairing were indeed generous.

                The polenta to start was pretty good. Polenta was average (I've had amazing polenta there before, and this wasn't quite in that league), goat cheese topping was incredible, beets on the plate were puzzling.

                Bluefish and quinoa was amazing. Perfect char on the grilled fish, great texture and flavor. Quinoa with piquillo peppers and corn was spicy and delicious. Pork was definitely dry - an unfortunate misstep. Peach cobbler was great, ice cream made it incredible. Overall, a great meal at a very nice price.

              2. I went last week for the anniversary menu and had a good experience overall. Our service was very good (the server was an older gentleman, very attentive). I had the salad, the chicken, and the peach cobbler for dessert, as well as the half-glass wine pairings.

                The salad was fine (I probably should have ordered something more interesting), the chicken was quite good, and the cobbler was delicious... just sweet enough, with some nice saltiness in the topping. The server was quite generous with my "half glass" pours, and I enjoyed all three wines. My DC had the corn chowder, then a seafood entree that I can't recall, and the cobbler. He enjoyed his food, but found the portions kind of skimpy.

                Overall, the meal didn't knock our socks off, but it was a good value. I'd like to go back and try Icarus when they have their standard menu.

                3 Replies
                1. re: fbf242

                  Do they ever serve anything that's not pork or bluefish for their b-day meals? Not that I've seen.

                  1. re: Joanie

                    Additional offering included a fillet of sole with clams, seafood risotto, and roast chicken. Just looks like no one on this thread ordered those.

                    1. re: Joanie

                      Good point; only it's not just Icarus...if you look around at many of the RW menus you'll find a lot of restaurants offering bluefish. I know it's in season so I guess it makes sense (though striped bass is also in season, and you don't see that at all!). If it's done right, it's usually good, but if not, it's fishy and unappealing. (IMO)