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Dec 31, 2012 02:57 AM

Pardes Update

I guess I am a culinary neanderthal. My husband and I visited Pardes last evening and I am left scratching my head. I appreciated the chef's creativity. I appreciated his attention to detail and flavors. I appreciated my "Aha" moment with an excellent sous vie prepared duck dish. But, did I really have to sit there for over 2 1/2 hours and waits of up to 15 to 20 minutes between plates being served. We ordered a fish, a salad, three meat dishes and two desserts. I understand that they don't pay homage to the usual appetizer/main/dessert order. The waiter explained that he would be bringing things out as they were completed, but--to me anyway-- that meant that perhaps we would be getting a meat with a salad or two meats and then a salad, something like that. Instead, we waited quite a while at the start (we were okay with that) to be served a tongue and onion rings first, followed by a long wait and then a aji tuna tartare, followed by an extremely long wait at an empty table (maybe 20 minutes) and then my salad (which was excellent--loved the cocoa nibs, would have loved that salad had it been served before the heavier tongue and onion rings). Then an extremely long wait and finally an apology a meat dish--the mouthwatering duck. Then...sigh, a wait until our final meat arrived--the veal lomo. Unimpressive and small in portion, but with a cool, bright coconut "yogurt" sauce. Okay. The pacing was ridiculous and--now the restaurant has calmed down a bit. We are going on 8:00 p.m. having arrived at 6. We enter the no-man's land of dessert. The recommended dessert was not available anymore so we order a chocolate mousse against our better judgment as it was a safe choice but because I just wanted a little chocolate at that point and the walnut parfait (not good, btw). The mousse came out after a wait and was heavenly. We were then left waiting again at an empty table for close to 10 more minutes or more for the last dessert. Then...we waited for the check which was, of course, wrong. Then we waited for it to be rectified and then we headed home for an hour plus drive. Guys, this cannot be right. I am frustrated with the lack of respect for the diner. And, I know the food is good, but it was just too crowded and closed in for my taste. Too tight to really relax. I do think that--while the servers needed to work things out better-- the blame for the evening goes to the chef who is aware of his "style" of serving and should understand that his creativity does not make up for the dining experience he offered. Sorry. I'll go get my huge dinosaur bone and go back to my cave.

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  1. Additionally, I just cannot believe that my husband and I never ONCE were given two dishes at the same time. It's nice to share, but the portions are on the small side. Let me have two dishes for two people at least once during a 2 and a half hour meal, chef!

    1. While I have great respect for the chef for breaking every mold he can get his hands on....there is no excuse for the ridiculous timing he institutes for his diners. I know he wants everyone to share each dish as it comes out, but that does not always work and is very soup nazi attitude towards his adoring patrons. I went there with my vegetarian wife, so having one course sent at a time, out of order, did nothing for us on our anniversary other then force her to watch me as I enjoyed my goose 4 ways (3 ways were great, the other was so raw that after chewing it for over 5 minutes I had to spit it out unceremoniously back onto the plate), for an hour before she got her first bite of anything to eat....really not cool! With that said, the vegetarian dish she ordered, a pistachio risotto, with jerusalem artichoke puree, teriyaki glazed tofu and meyer lemon foam was the most ingeniously constructed plate she'd ever had out, and we've been around the block!

      1. I wonder if they were having staffing problems because of the holiday week.

        1. We were there Thursday night. Arrived for a 7PM reservation, and we left before 9. We ordered 4 appetizers, 1 main and 3 desserts (hey, it was our anniversary)/ Yes, it was disconcerting how my 3 appetizers showed up at the same husband was happy to taste everything (well, except for the beef/marrow tartare...but I was happy not to share that one)...but we actually finished eating together. Our desserts all arrived together. Our bill was wrong (in OUR favor), and the waiter was thrilled when I corrected it. Service was terrific, food was amazing, and my water glass was NEVER empty. No complaints here. I just want to go back to try everything else on the menu!

          1. I've been twice and had similar experiences both times, with being there for a ridiculous amount of time, there being huge spans of time where no plates were on our table, and one of the times- one of our desserts (one of which was not what we ordered but was something that the kitchen, given the rest of what we ordered thought wed prefer) coming in the middle of the meal before the main

            the bulk of the food was good to very good- with a few small misses BUT it was too stressful of an evening, given the pace and the pattern for me to ever go back

            i didnt post about it, bc i figured i had been on off nights bc i hadnt heard about anyone else with similar experiences, but am feeling a little bit better, that im not alone

            having grown up not kosher- ive had my fair share of good food and tempermentally delivered courses- but the progression needs make sense, and both nights, it did not, that in itself showed something to us about the chef

            if it were a non-kosher experience, i would have tweeted about it, but for some reason i feel guilty when i smear a kosher restaurant trying to make it in a world where not enough do

            that being said- i think that makes me part of the problem