The Meeting House Rochester, MI
Have had the pleasure of dining at the Meeting House twice. First time we actually weren't all that hungry and just sampled small plates and salads. Second time I had braised short ribs and I can honestly say it was the very best braised meat dish I've ever eaten. I'm a big fan of pot roasts and short ribs and am extremely pleased to have found this on their menu.
Ergh, I hesitated to post a review when we visited there since they'd just opened and I didn't want to dissuade others to try it out (and I really didn't want to see another failed restaurant attempt in that space). We weren't impressed. And I HATE that we weren't impressed, as I was really WANTING to be impressed--downtown needs more great restaurants.
The details, as I remember them now--it's been about two months, I think.
I got a wood-fired pizza--just the margherita, I think--and the crust was not well done. It was sort of doughy, and had no texture or flavor. In addition, the pizza was served on the cool side, which was very off-putting. The sauce was flat. It had no flavor at all. Even the mozzarella was rubbery and well, just sort of gross. Again, I really WANTED to be happy with the pizza, and I just felt sad!
My dining companion got the vegetarian burger option (can't remember precisely whether it was a black bean burger or what) but it, too, was underseasoned and it just wasn't satisfying. (And it wasn't just because it didn't contain beef, for those of you snarking about veggie burgers!) The fries looked good, but I swear that they tasted like they were fried in old grease. They tasted like McDonald's fries. He could tell I didn't like the pizza (without my saying a word) so he gave me some of his meal, and neither of us liked either offering.
For those looking for great pizza, go to Fresco Wood-Oven Pizza on Walton Blvd across from Crittenton. That guy knows what he is doing! I'm sure there must be better sources for excellent french fries as well. I'm hoping it was an off night, because we were thrilled to see something open in that space and couldn't wait to try it out, but we were SO disappointed. We haven't been back.
"I really didn't want to see another failed restaurant attempt in that space"
Sad but so true. The new Freeway through downtown Rochester was the kiss of death (IMO) in an area already plagued by excessively high commercial rent and low foot traffic. The city needs to do a much better job directing visitors to the public parking areas or we need a parking structure like Plymouth.
I have not tried Fresco but I will now! Sorry to say even the Give Thanks Bakery has jumped the Shark. Paid over $50 for a Black Forest Torte this X-mas that was just a pile of whipped cream. I was neither amused or Thankful but with the downtown area closed almost all of last year to through traffic many places really took a big financial hit.
Careful...I'd be pretty apprehensive about saying that Give Thanks Bakery has "jumped the shark", when in fact you may have had one bad experience. I was there not two weeks ago, and the baguette and the pain au chocolate were spot-on awesome. Spendy? Yep, a bit, but they're still doing great stuff. The only other place even remotely like it is Le Petit Prince in Birmingham, and it's spendy, too.
As well: if you have a seriously legitimate complaint about one of their items, you owe it to both them and yourself to tell them about it so that they can have a chance to make it right. I think that $50 for an all-whipped-cream Black Forest Torte is *outrageous*, too, but they should have a chance to get your business back by making it up to you in some way if it really was that disappointing. Every place/person has a day when they're off their game.
Give Thanks will not get another chance with me after that experience any time soon. I don't "owe" them any thing. That torte consisted of a single 9x2 cake cut into thirds and filled with nothing but whipped cream. Well Ok there was maybe six cherries on the bottom.
Their baguette has also declined in quality by a significant margin.
I have to get burned pretty hard to be so adament about not going back to any establishment but they earned their stripes on that one.
Costco has better cakes than their $50 whipped cream cake. Sweet endings on Orchard Lake is VASTLY better as well.