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Restaurant Week 2012 Where have you gone and how was it?

m
mjtx Aug 15, 2012 11:26 AM

I was wondering which restaurants people have gone to for Restaurant Week this year and how the food and service were. Some restaurants use this as a way to showcase their food and service and others seem to have a "we need to do this but lets just get it over with" attitude. We are going to go to Abacus.

  1. f
    foiegras Aug 19, 2012 01:39 PM

    The only one I have to recommend so far is 2nd Floor. The CM course (scallop on a bed of mushrooms) is excellent, and just a $5 upcharge if you don't have the voucher. Lonesome Dove was good as well (one of my dining companions said it was the best meal she's had in TX, which is really saying something during RW), but I was disappointed at how far some of the portions had been cut back from the regular menu (at least 2/3rds in one case). It also seemed as though the salt shaker had broken open during the preparation of some dishes. They do not have a CM course, but offer their regular deal with appetizers (full menu offered) where you can get them by the piece, which I really like. Service at Lonesome Dove was excellent--best of my RW so far. Details on the places that were meh upon request ;)

    2 Replies
    1. re: foiegras
      LewisvilleHounder Aug 24, 2012 12:11 PM

      I want to hear the meh places because those usually bleed over to regular non-restaurant week menus.

      I went to One2One to use up a Groupon before expiring and they were still running the Restaurant Week menu....there was four other brave souls there in the dining room and about eight or so on the patio, only two with food. The Restaurant Menu was just a rehash of their regular menu. The two menu items we did try were boring and uninspired, Beau Nash Smoked Chicken Soup and Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Apple-Fennel Slaw. The smoked chicken soup was bland except for the smoked chicken. There were small interludes of an acidic component in the tomatoes but very few. I think there is a reason why Beau Nash isn't in business anymore, so reviving a soup isn't going to help. The Pork Tenderloin might as well have been labeled Tastless Sliced Pork with watery slaw. No redeeming quality to this dish. I looked at my wife and said "I wish we would have gone to Restaurant Ava for the same price and style of food."

      Just as a warning the sliders, which is approximately 1/4 of the menu, were all not eaten from every diner that ordered them . Not sure what the problem was with them but glad I did not order them.

      I think this is one instance in which the former chef, Jeff Moschetti, far outshined the new chef.
      I felt bad for the waitstaff and kitchen crew because you can feel when a restaurant is in their downward spiral before closing.

      1. re: LewisvilleHounder
        f
        foiegras Aug 24, 2012 03:26 PM

        I prefer when RW consists of regular menu items, because I think that makes for higher quality, as well as a taste of the real restaurant. Sounds like you got that taste in this case, and it wasn't good ...

        Old Warsaw was meh, and no surprise there. I was expecting potentially old school a la St Martin's, and it was better than that, but I wasn't served anything outstanding. Everything was edible, some of it mediocre. The service was decidedly old school, and reminded me of hotel restaurant service (not my personal preference).

        Bijoux (for me) was a good example of where not to go during RW. They seemed to be watching their costs very carefully, and also seemed to be recommending the less popular items. I got the pork belly for an upcharge--not so good, I've had much better there from the regular menu. The dish sounded a bit uninspired, and unfortunately it was. The prawn CM course was fine but overcooked, the truffled risotto was very nice, and the cherries jubilee was OK (chocolate cake very good though). Overall, knowing what they can do, I was disappointed.

    2. irodguy Aug 22, 2012 08:38 PM

      So far
      Bijoux - Great food and service.
      Hibiscus - Generally good not outstanding. Service good, food good.
      Cadot - Good to great food, but questionable service.
      2nd Floor - Somewhere between good and great.
      Oceanaire - Outstanding server, good food.

      1. m
        mjtx Aug 23, 2012 06:13 AM

        We went to Abacus. Great food and great service.

        3 Replies
        1. re: mjtx
          f
          foiegras Aug 24, 2012 07:10 AM

          Interested to hear what you had at Abacus ...

          1. re: foiegras
            m
            mjtx Aug 25, 2012 05:47 AM

            We started off with the Lobster Shooters (CM 4th course). Our appetizer was the Pimenton Seared Scallop,Spanish Chorizo, Crispy Okra, Texas Tomatoes, Sweet Corn Cream. I was a little concerned about ordering this because of the chorizo, but I asked our waiter and he said that the scallop was the star and to not let that stop me from ordering the dish. The dish was delicious. My husband had wanted to order the Crispy Roasted Duck, Garlic White Anchovy Gnocci, Chardonnay Butter, Grana Padano Crisps, but our waiter told us that the kitchen was having issues with the gnocchi and were serving shell pasta in place of the gnocci. So, my husband changed his order to the scallop and was very happy. Then we had the intermezzo which was Mimosa Slushie. My main dish was the Hickory Grilled Kobe Hanger Steak, Fingerling Potatoes, Grilled Leeks, Roasted Asparagus, Farmer's Cheese (I haven't figured out where the cheese was). My husband had the Pan Seared Gulf Shrimp, Roasted Poblano Grits, Jalepeno Jack Queso and Tortilla Slaw. Dessert was an assortment of yummy desserts. Both entrees were delicious and the service was great. It was my birthday and our watier brought me a personalized menu that was signed by the chef.

            1. re: mjtx
              f
              foiegras Aug 25, 2012 07:35 AM

              Sounds like a great experience, and I love the honesty about the gnocchi :) So much better just to come out with it so that you can order what's best that night ... and a strikingly better practice than actually recommending the dishes that aren't so great.

        2. p
          pgwiz1 Aug 28, 2012 01:06 PM

          Al Biernat's - Excellent on all counts, except that they don't print they offer a 4th course, but if you ask, they do. And it is GOOD. It's their mini beef willingtons from their bar menu. Very good. Had their escargot first course, and one of the best escargots ever. They had 5 choices for their mains, and it was worth it.

          Stephen Pyles - Also excellent. I really liked that their 4th course was the peach gazpacho is on their regular tasting menu and is unbelievable. I had the corn soup as the starter, short ribs as my main and the mexican style bread pudding for dessert. All I'll say is, I wish I had saved room for the dessert.

          Eddie V's - Totally disappointing. We had to ask for the restaurant week menu. The 4th course was these scallops that looked great, but was just okay. I had their mussels first course which was the only good thing. The haddock came out basically swimming in butter, and didn't have any sides with it. The dessert was a mango creme brulee, but I didn't taste any mango, and the texture of the sugar on top felt like they'd bruleed it an hour ago.

          2 Replies
          1. re: pgwiz1
            f
            foiegras Aug 28, 2012 02:54 PM

            Thanks for the Al Biernat's tip! I've been meaning to go there for RW--hopefully next year.

            1. re: foiegras
              twinwillow Aug 28, 2012 04:10 PM

              And, Stephan Pyles. Always reliable.

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