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Feb 14, 2011 12:33 PM

McLean 1910 Restaurant

Has anyone been to this relatively new eatery?

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  1. Service was incredibly, painfully slow today. 90 minutes twiddling thumbs waiting for a chicken entree and small salad. When it arrived, food was surprisingly good but prices are pretty steep for what they are offering. If they charge the tariff, then must offer acceptable service. Management on duty were indifferent to what was going on in the room.

    1. Yes, twice. We went the first week it opened and, again, night before last. We all have places we patronize because of convenience even if the food isn't thrilling. Well, this is a place that's too expensive for anyone to overlook the merely adequate food for the sake of convenience. At these prices, we want the food to be delicious and the food here isn't.

      The first visit, the service was surprisingly good for such a new start up, but the food was really bland. Only my husband's espresso-crusted pork loin earned admiration from our foursome. On the plus side, nothing was actively bad.

      This week, we went because we were specifically looking for a near-by place that was quiet and had a good bar. (Rough day!) The restaurant delivered on both counts. My husband ordered a regular mojito -- not the raspberry version on the menu. The drink was really bracing with lots of lime. My Cosmo was also on the tart side, which I prefer, but it was not as good as the mojito. My husband ordered the ribs. The flavor was good but they were served cold. Obviously, the ribs had been cooked in advance and stored in the refrigerator. The first bite or two had a mixture of some warm places and some cool places. As the meal wore on, all the meat was cold. The cole slaw was tasty which to our tastes means not overly sweet. I ordered the salmon. I can happily report that the fish was cooked medium-rare as requested but the loving words about ginger glaze on the vegetables and some sort of sauce on the fish turned out to be a figment of the someone's imagination. A single squirted stripe of sauce is not enough to have any impact on the item it is supposed to be enhancing.

      We were leaving towards the end of the evening, which for McLean comes quite early. I think we left somewhat after 9:30 p.m. and there were only two occupied tables. There never were more than five table occupied throughout the evening. The chef visited one table, then stood near the exit to chat with people as they left. My husband mentioned the temperature of the ribs, but I simply praised the degree of doneness of my salmon. After having wrestled with an insurance company over a denied claim, we both had only so much energy to devote solving the restaurant's problems. And, frankly the mistakes were such elementary mistakes that the corrections are going to take more energy than I'm willing to devote to such an expensive local restaurant. For example, how hard is it for the chef to figure out that he can avoid offending the timid palates by plating the dish with a small container of sauce on the side. If the sauce is going to be described in the menu, most diners expect the sauce to exist. Sure I could have asked for more sauce, but at these prices, I don't care whether the restaurant solves its problems, we're unlikely to go back. The one exception would be if this restaurant started serving an upscale burger. We would go again if we wanted a burger in nice surroundings including a good bar. Joe's or Ray's or BGR don't qualify.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Indy 67

        "...we both had only so much energy to devote solving the restaurant's problems. And, frankly the mistakes were such elementary mistakes that the corrections are going to take more energy than I'm willing to devote to such an expensive local restaurant." LOL!

        Aptly put and comports with our experience. We were looking (hoping?) for success in the heart of McLean but the high price points, average quality delivered, poor service and room management don't add up to a repeatable experience. Personally, the biggest disappoinment were eyeballing the two nudnick "managers" (?) rooted firmly by the entrance door as they day dreamed and chatted, failing to make any effort to address the obvious problems taking place directly before them. This is a very small room so you can't hide. If the staff and managers refuse to see water and iced tea glasses sitting empty for twenty minutes or that the table tops are bare with no bread or no plates for long periods = either selfish indifference or ineptitude.

        I endure a lot as a customer. But paying higher prices and sitting for long periods to await the delivery of a garden salad or iced tea (!) repeatedly listening to the waiter recite "it'll be out in a minute" (uh, that was one molto minuti) means: this is place to go for drinks and only drinks.

        Hope they can improve because the culinary wasteland of McLean desparately needs an upscale bistro with good food, pleasant surroundings and decent bar.

      2. I tried to eat here once. The manager has no idea what she is doing. The wait staff is so incompetent that I had to remind them how to tell me about the daily specials and to ask me if I wanted a drink.

        The prices are too high and the place has the atmosphere of a diner.

        I would never go back .

        3 Replies
        1. re: superdestroyer

          "superdestroyer," i am intrigued by your maiden post.

          you "tried" to eat there, but you did not succeed?

          and then, you had to "remind" them *how to tell* you about the daily specials and ask about a drink? that is a curious way of phrasing it. i was wondering how that transaction actually went down. i'm just trying to be a fly on the proverbial wall -- not necessarily in the ointment. LOL!

          1. re: alkapal

            Instead of having the hostess seat hand you the meny, the server brought the menus after the hostess handed us the wine list. This truck me as odd. The server then poured water and walked away. No mention of the specials, no request for a beverage order, not even a hello. He then disappeared for several minutes and came back to take our food order. No mention of beverage, no mention of specials. The first thing I tried to order, they were out of . Of course, the waiter had not mentioned previously . I gave up at that point. I thought I was in a made episode of Kitchen Nightmares where the manger/owner of a restaurant has no idea what they are doing.

            My guess is that in a year, the place will be under new management with a different theme.

            1. re: superdestroyer

              I concur with S.D.'s assessment per my post above. I gave 1910 a second chance late last month. Unfortunately, the bungling indifference, poor service and disorganization was still on display.

              1910 charges premium prices but the "product" - service, food, ambiance - is not commensurate with such high prices. I hoped for more effort and hospitality but that was not to evident on my second visit.

              I doubt our views are minority ones as the number of customers present had dwindled on my last visit. I agree with S.D.- 1910 will not survive as is. Unless, of course, Gordon Ramsay knocks some sense into the room's management so they wake up!