Copper Leaf Grill (Buckingham, Bucks Co.)--any recent visitors?
I haven't been in in quite a while, but I'm still on the email list (from the BrownGold days). I got one last week (maybe?) with new menu offerings and Thanksgiving promo and the chef's name was still the same, I think.
Rereading, this isn't really indicative of anything, but it's the most recent contact I've had with them. Maybe just a clue, then.
They're still open. Same owner. Same menu.
The $30 prix-fixe three-course menu is an excellent value.
We were generally very satisfied with the quality of the food we had there during a very recent visit.
Service was friendly and attentive.
A very strong alternative to the crowds and noise of New Hope restaurants for chowhounds living in or visiting Bucks County.
My wife and I were hopeful that the Copper Leaf Grill would be a wonderful chef-owned BYO. However after two disappointing visits, we will not be back. The fresh-baked bread is excellent, however the extremely slow service from the combination waiter/host and the middling quality of the appetizers/entrees are the flaws.
Our most recent visit in mid-Oct included a lengthy wait at the host stand to be seated at one of the many open tables (only 3 other tables were full at ~7:30PM on a Sat) followed by a lengthy wait to place our orders. We were treated to some entertainment when one of the customers became fed up with the slow and disinterested service and loudly requested their check, so that they could pay for their appetizers and go get a cheeseburger. The food was OK - I'm not sure what kind of wood is used in the grill, but I did not care for the flavor it imparted in my steak. Finally, we were treated to a lengthy wait for our check - while the chef visited with the table next to us (who were apparently his friends) and the waiter/host disappeared into the back.
Went there tonight. I'm a foodie - grew up cooking in restaurants, trained classic french and northern italian. I went to this place when it was BrownGold - and Mark was a friend of mine. First trip to the new owner - and last.
We ordered appetizers - seared scallops with dijon & what I think was once bacon, and also an appetizer portion of crab ravioli. Everything was very much underseasoned to begin with. The scallops were undercooked and lacked any searing color to them at all. They were gelatinous inside. The bacon, on the other hand, was a soggy, crumbly mixture, which was made worse by the oil they drizzled over the whole thing.
The crab ravioli, which was served in what was called a vodka sauce, was almost tasteless. It had no 'pop' at all - and the sauce was bland, yet somehow manged to overwhelm the ravioli. The pasta dough was firm, but overcooked.
For dinner, we ordered a grilled filet and a whole bronzino. Okay - 86 the bronzino - they had no whole fish, but they did have some 'nice snapper fillets' - even though these were not on the menu, which leads me to believe they were probably from earlier in the week, since no one has fresh snapper sitting in the cooler waiting for next week to come around. I decided not to try that, so I opted for the rack of lamb.
I don't know where this chef was trained, but at CIA, a rack of lamb was actually a rack of lamb, not 4 small chops lightly heated. They were served rare - I ordered medium rare, and they were served with a demi glace and some sliced carrots. The lamb was warm, the demi glace was cool, and the carrots cold and undercooked. Not sure how hard it is to screw this up this badly. The 'rack' was supposedly seasoned with herbs and spices - all which evidently fell off when they were poaching them, since they had literally no seasoning to be found, and no herbs either. I chose to dip the chops in the bread oil so they had flavor.
My date sent her filet back 3 times for them to get it to a medium doneness. each time, it came back cut up a little more as the 'chef' opened it up to explore its degree of completeness. I'd honestly rather he use his finger to touch the meat if it worked better, but come on man, you own a nice place like this and you can't cook a damned filet?
Sorry - not going back, unless he invites me to give him a lesson or two. For gods sake man, taste what you cook so you know what type of seasoning you should be making with it.
Service was okay, but there was only 3 tables in the place on a Friday night at 8, so how long until this becomes an empty space for lease? There was only 1 waiter/busboy/host on the floor, so they would have been screwed if they had a few more walk ins.
I think wldtrvler was simply describing his own background and credentials. "CIA standards" whatever they may be are basics of what a fine dining in a casual atmosphere should be. I've been to many places run by CIA grads and while they're justifiably proud of the diploma, it doesn't guarantee anything.
FWIW, the head chef at St. Mary Med. Center in Langhorne is a CIA grad (nothing special about the food there other than it's consistently good for hospital cafeteria food). I've had bad meals at two places in Bucks and Lambertville (which shall remain nameless) prepared by CIA grads.
IMHO what wldtrvler criticized about Copper Leaf would apply to any place charging that kind of money for that kind of food. I had about a dozen good meals at BrownGold but after one meal at Copper Leaf I won't go back.
We ate there tonight and we were not impressed.
We were immediately disappointed that the only drink offerings were water and lemonade. No soda so the only thing calorie-free was water.
The potato soup was good as were our entrees - tuna and salmon. The fish portions were large and the tuna was very thick - not quite being cooked all the way through as was requested.
While we could BYOB our own soft drinks, the biggest problem was that the resturant filled with smoke from the wood burning stove. My wife began sneezing and our clothes still smell smokey hours after being there.
All in all, there are just too many good resturants in the area to settle for less at the Copper Leaf Grill.
I am a frequent diner of the Copper Leaf & I am always satisfied. The chef is creative (there are always different/seasonal menus & specials) & the waitstaff is topnotch.
As a regular diner, I know that they offer a variety of beverages INCLUDING lemonade & water. They don't offer sodas because they don't believe in serving their customers beverages laden with high fructose corn syrup or chemical sugar substitutes.
I never feel like I am settling for less when I eat there, but more like I am choosing a unique to the area, culinary experience. I understand, however, that if you're interests lie in well done tuna and artificially flavored soft drinks, you might feel left disappointed.
I've got to agree with bucksdiner. Copper Leaf Grill is a decent place, with fair prices and good service. In a half dozen visits, I've never walked away disappointed. I could care less about the beverage selection, as it is BYO and all I need with my wine is a glass of ice water.
I usually go for the fish, grilled or otherwise, and never had to send it back. Notwithstanding some of the comments above, if you live in the area and are looking for a BYO serving fresh, often locally sourced food, this should be on your list.