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Jun 21, 2010 03:10 PM

First and Hope... anyone been??

I've read a couple of good reviews but was wondering if any chowhounds had opinions? Looks cool, I am hoping it is a better version of The Tar Pit.

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  1. Overall I enjoyed it, but it's a little off. The decor is dangerously close to overdone. A bit trendy, pretentious, and flashy, made worse by the strange glare from the LED lighting in the bar area. The service was almost professional, but not quite right. The whole wine card thing was explained to us a few times and I still don't get it.

    But, the food was generally good, and a few dishes were very good. All three mac and cheeses on their "flight" were very tasty. Praise the Lard, was very good. The duck, duck, goose was good, but the duck breast was overcooked. The wine we had was excellent, although I forget the name. It tries very hard to be cute, and to reinterpret classics in a gourmet way, and it generally works.

    I would go back, and would recommend it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: cls

      Thanks, this was excellent! On the website, the photos make the room look very bright... is that the case?

      1. re: Tom P

        The room is not bright at all. Above the tables in the bar area are LED lights and they have a sort of fluorescent-like glare. I got used to it during the meal, and this was something definitely subtle: not like a cheap, dirty white ceiling tile, wall air conditioner type take out place.

    2. I had a very good brunch there before a concert at Disney Hall. I liked the decor and loved the grey cocktail dresses on the hostesses (the waitresses had a shorter cut version). The food has a Southern spin to it but is designed to be upscale (I started with delicious BBQ fried oysters which suffered solely from being gone too quickly). It is not inexpensive by any means but was quite enjoyable and worth going back to--in fact, I recommended it to one of the name partners at my Firm when he had a client lunch in the area and it was a big hit with them as well.

      2 Replies
      1. re: New Trial

        Was that a Saturday or Sunday brunch/pre-concert meal?
        I too attend Disney Hall during the season, and only wish I had more dining options for brunch/lunch pre-concert. God knows the proximity is good, yet the room looks like it is so out of character for pre-Disney Hall concertiziing.
        and, generally, I don't think southern food at all, especially at that time of day.
        But convince me, and I might give it a try
        And oysters are not the answer!

        1. re: carter

          Even if I tell you they are the special BP Brand Gulf Oysters?

          It was a Sunday and, as that is the only time I have personally eaten there thus far, the only other item I can provide first-mouth testimony for is the burger ["Ground Chuck & Chorizo Hamburger, 'helped' by Fried Green Tomatoes, Pimento Cheese, Watercress, Worcestershire Ketchup & Handmade Tater Tots"]. It was quite good once I scraped down/off the cheese but would not be the reason to go of itself. There were a number of other more interesting sounding items on the menu but I was in the mood for a burger that day. Southern food can actually be great Sunday brunch food but, with a few exceptions, the menu is more Southern-accented than truly Southern.

      2. I have never been to The Tar Pit. At First and Hope, you feel as though you have stepped into the 1930's. It is so elegant, and everything is gorgeous, from the bar to the table settings to the lighting. Even the uniforms on the waitstaff are beautiful. And the food is out of this world. The chef is super creative, and everything I've had there is ... See Moredelicious, including the handcrafted beverages. The mac and cheese is to die for, as is the fried chicken and the roasted chicken. I haven't tried the meat loaf, but it may be next on my list. I have to admit that it is pricey, but great for a special occasion.