Brunch at Dante's
When we arrived at Dante's for brunch this afternoon, we saw many folks milling about the sidewalk and street, which made us think that we would be in for a wait - indeed, when we went inside to put our names in we were informed it would be an hour and a half wait. I suspected (and was correct) that it would not be that long.
During our 40 minute wait, we were able to start with cocktails outside. I had a bloody mary and then we both had blueberry mojitos. It was hot, but not so humid, and we had a spot in the shade to wait.
Once we were seated, we heard the specials and ordered them, along with a couple of the breakfast starters: the homemade biscuits with housemade jams and butter, and the brioche french toast with blueberry sauce and whipped cream.
For our mains, we were seduced by the specials. I had the grits and beef grillades (with 2 poached eggs) and my husband had a grilled amberjack served over a vegetable hash with ham, also with 2 poached eggs and hollendaise.
The good: the starters, the cocktails, the atmosphere. The grits and grillades were pretty good too.
The middling: the service. It was very busy, but it took a loooooong time for our starters to come out, I even asked the waitress about it (which I never do) when she dropped off a drink- just asked if she knew when they'd be out.
The bad: Tom's amberjack with vegetable/ham hash. First of all, they called it a hash "cake" which it most certainly was not. Second, the hash was unbelievably salty. Third, the amberjack (which seemed to be related to the tuna) was grilled and charred beyond recognition and dried right out. Perhaps it was the leftovers of Saturday night's dinner service dressed up and recycled.
We'll go back though, most definitely for dinner. And if we go back for brunch, we'll avoid the specials.
I've never had a bad dish at Dante's--I've actually never had a bad bite--but the one time I went for brunch, the service was very, very slow. It took us 15 minutes after the plates were cleared to get the check, which was a problem because I was taking my dining partner to the airport. It's the only time in New Orleans that I've considered not tipping at all. That was over a year ago, and I assumed it was just a fluke, but maybe not. It's really weird because the dinner servers have always been so solicitous and punctual.