- Ingrid Jun 12, 2006 04:29 PM
We went to Hatfield's this weekend. Overall, it was a pleasant dining experience but we left feeling no hurry to return.
We arrived at 9:00 pm for our 9:00 pm reservation. The maitre dei told us he had a table available outside. I asked if we could sit inside, and he said told us it would be "just a few moments." Three two tops opened and were bussed and set by about 9:05. We stood there and waited and the maitre dei just looked at his book and it wasn't until about 9:15 or so until I asked him whether we could have one of the three open two tops. He looked around (at the very small dining room) and said, of course. Overall though, the maitre dei was pleasant and we figured the delay was due to the very understandable kinks that happen with a new restaurant.
None of the entrees looked very interesting, so we stuck to the appetizers which looked fantastic. I started with the grilled octopus with hearts of palm in an olive tapenade and my fiancé had the king crab and celery volute. Both dishes were well executed and the flavors were subtle, but present. The volute, in particular, tasted light and fluffy and rich at the same time. For my entree, I had the hamachi croque madam and my finance had the rabbit and foie gras terrine. I didn't care for the hamachi croque madam. While the bread was toasted buttery-perfect, the warmth of the bread and the light bechamel brought out the fishyness of the hamachi. I'm not suggesting the fish was unfresh; it was quite fresh. Rather, the mix of flavors and temperatures didn't quite mesh for me. The rabbit terrine was quite delicious. Rich, meaty, and smooth.
We were pretty stuffed at the end of the meal so we skipped dessert. People around us who had dessert seemed pleased. The bus boy was attentive, and so was the bartender. Our server was friendly but at bit absent.
Overall, as I said, the dining experience was pleasant. When Grace first opened, we went and there were some new restaurants foibles, but we couldn't wait to go back. And we did repeatedly and we love this restaurant. I didn't leave Hatfield's feeling the same enthusiasm. If I'm in the area, and want a meal at this price point, I'm likely go to Lucques or Grace or AOC. I may give Hatfields a second try, but probably not for another year or so.
i was at hatfield's their 3rd or 4th day of business and i thought everything was excellent....i could almost say perfect, but then again i am a food snob. i had the charred octopus which was the best octo ive ever had. we also tried the croque madame which we all thought was great....i admit, on paper i thought...hamachi and proscuitto??? didnt make sense, but after one bite, it all made sense. our entrees were great and the desserts were amazing. i thought the service was top notch as well...and again, i am a snob. i cant wait to see what else that kitchen can turn out...
Hearsay post:my sister , a major foodie,ate there last week , during the week.
OK, the octopus was very good, but she liked Sushi Ike's better. The halibut with horseradish cream was "the blandest thing she ever ate"-she left half of it. Loved the rolls and thought dessert was good, but nothing special. She couldn't even remember what she ordered.
Decor: minimal to the point of sterile
Service: lovely and she was alone
Total tab: $87 ..two glasses of wine and coffee
She would not return.
Went to Hatfield's the other night for a birthday dinner. Got the 7 course tasting. This was our second time there and let me say that it was absolutely fantastic.
They served two different courses each, so we got to try more like 13 different items (one dessert was the same)
Not going to go into a whole lot of detail, but the squab with crispy leg "schnitzel" with foie gras, corn, etc was fabulous. The above mentioned Halibut I thought was one of the highlights of the night. It was crusted with pumpkin seeds and served with horseradish creme fraiche and fingerling potatoes and citrus glazed beets, the flavors all melded very well. The halibut itself was incredibly buttery and just melted.
I'm sure when they opened, they had their share of kinks. I went a few months ago and didn't really enjoy the octopus salad. I had it this time and it was, let me say, PERFECT. The octopus was incredibly tender. I had complained earlier that it was bland, and this time the flavors sang and married together beautifully.
The night I went I felt they were really at the top of their game. I highly recommend this place over Lucques and Grace.
Totally agree regarding Hatfield's. Having Grace and Lucques so close provides many options, and that is a good thing. If anyone wanted to treat me, I'd love to go to any of the 3.
I like the lack of pretenses at Hatfield's, and especially the side patio area where the noise level is quite low.
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