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Christopher's Review

Dapuma Mar 25, 2011 05:44 PM

Went to Christopher's last night for the first time with the soon to be mrs for an early dinner

It is a French restaurant at the Biltmore

We got there and there was no one standing at the host station so we looked around at Crush to the left and at the restaurant and were greated shortly then taken to our table in the back of the restaurant - inside the place is pretty nice and the tables sit back in a little enclave so it stops alot of the noise from the bar area

then we sat by ourselves for awhile (service was pretty bad) when the server came over he went over the specials etc we asked for a few more minutes to figure out what we wanted to order then we were left alone for a long time again, luckily the bread guy was on point, so we munched on some bread and butter while we waited

I had the mussels with white wine and chorizo broth and the mrs had the salmon

She said the salmon had a good buttery sauce with it, and was seared nicely, however it was very thin, about the thickness of a McRib (the correct response is laughter with a slight craving for a mcrib) so she felt a bit robbed because it wasnt thicker however it was good

The mussels i had were very large, and the broth was pretty good, had the smokiness of the chorizo, however the mussels had a ton of onions all over them along with huge strips of chorizo, when eaten with the mussels you couldnt really tell you were eating mussels, so that was a bit confusing why they would do that, but overall it was solid- the basil olive oil toast point they served with it to dip in the broth was too burnt so i stuck with the regular bread

The server never came back to ask if we wanted more wine (although the water guy made sure we were set), and after we ate we sat with out plates the table for a long time and had to wait for the bill a long time - bad service all the way around but that aside...

the bill with 1 glass of wine was 52, and most of the other menu items were much more expensive, overall I thought the meal was average the menu is expensive for what you get - i think you are paying for the location in the biltmore, was disappointing overall - we had a gift card deal so for the discounted price it was fine, but if we had to pay that regular menu price for what we got, we would have not been happy

Average expensive food is the final thought

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Christopher's
2502 E Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85016

  1. Lunchbox76 Mar 25, 2011 08:41 PM

    This is disappointing... I met Christopher at the Beer for Brains event a few weeks ago and he made a killer pork belly dish. It actually won the overall wine pairing category at that event...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Lunchbox76
      Lunchbox76 Mar 27, 2011 08:14 AM

      Well I should have listened... We decided to try it out for ourselves last night. And while the food was great, the service left much to be desired. The bread and water came fairly quickly but it took several minutes for a waitress to show up and take our drink order. I had to ask for my water glass to be refilled, which in this environment, I shouldn't have to do. We killed our bottle of wine midway through the meal and we were never offered another bottle, which we would have probably ordered.

      We started with the charcuterie plate with optional cheese (for an extra $5). What we got was a fairly nice offering of cured meats served with a plate toasted bread and a small hunk of hard cheese, which the waitress didn't know what it was, and a small dollop of creamy goat cheese. Adding the cheese was a little disappointing and not worth the extra $$.

      We also ordered the duck confit and goat cheese pizza with figs. It was pretty good but it had several way too burnt sections of outer crust. I know some people like that, but it was a little overkill for me. But overall it was a nice choice with the goat cheese and figs playing off each other very nicely. The duck didn't add or detract from the dish so I'm not sure if it was even necessary.

      I ordered the Hanger Steak with sauteed shallots. It came out a nice medium rare with lots of shallots on top. The sauce that was served with my steak was ice cold. They did remedy this fairly quickly. Mrs. Lunchbox ordered the Lamb shank that they have as a Saturday special. She said it was the best that she's ever had. She chose the gruyere potato puree as her side instead of the bok choy she was offered. The potatoes were a highlight and and paired well with the lamb. My side, risotto with vegetables, didn't come out at the same time as our entrees. One of the advantages (disadvantages?) of the open kitchen concept is that you hear everything that goes on. We knew exactly how fast the kitchen responded to the mix up... The answer to that question is not very fast. When they did come out you could tell they were hurried. They were simply awful looking and had little flavor. The waitress noticed that we hardly touched them at the end and took them off our bill because they were bad and we waited so long for them.

      Then came the dessert portion of the evening. The waitress went over each of the choices on the menu. However we couldn't believe this came out of her mouth when she got towards the end and started talking about the souffle. Paige, I want to call her out by name in the hopes that someone from the restaurant reads this and tells her to never do this again, said that we "couldn't order souffle because she had to reseat our table and we didn't have enough time." We couldn't believe it! The restaurant was not busy. There wasn't anyone waiting for tables when we left. So apparently spending $150 (pretip) on dinner and wine does not give you the right to spend more money on the dessert of your choice. We decided to skip dessert and call it a night.

      Sorry Christopher's, you had your one shot, we won't be back.

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      Christopher's
      2502 E Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85016

      1. re: Lunchbox76
        Bill Hunt Apr 1, 2011 05:32 PM

        Wow, two negatives.

        I've not been to the new restaurant, and the only rubs that I had with Fermier was related to wines, and wine services. Then, the service was always good, as was the food.

        Wife did a meal at the new restaurant, and declined to return, when I offered that option later on. She chose NOCA instead, but did not elaborate. As she had a business meal, the issues could well have been elsewhere.

        While not a "fanboy," I have followed Chef Gross' career in the Valley for some time, and have never found issue with the food, the kitchen, or other restaurants' service.

        This does not sound good, and in the current restaurant world in Phoenix, does not bode well.

        Thanks for taking the time to do the reviews.

        Hunt

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