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Sep 12, 2013 09:14 AM

The Sinclair

Any recommendations? The mains look a bit ho hum but the small plates look really interesting.

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  1. I had a disaster of a meal there a few weeks ago. Everything we had (mac and cheese, disco fries, kale salad, mushroom croquettes) was underseasoned, the burger seemed like a frozen patty and had an unappealing curry barbeque sauce on it, and the "fried chicken" was chicken breast cooked sous-vide, then flash fried (not bad, but bland and not what we were envisioning). Everything begged for more salt--so did we, and a shaker finally arrived when the entrees did.

    Service was not attentive and frankly, kind of weird. Our server had some strange aversion to clearing away the empty plates off the table. Oh, and the bartender shouldn't complain about "what a pain" it is to make a cocktail (that's on the menu) to customers, who happen to be sitting right next to the person who ordered said cocktail (hi, that would be me).

    As a show venue I like it a lot, but I won't be back for a meal.

    2 Replies
    1. re: LeoLioness

      oof. sounds like a bad start to the evening. we have tix coming up to southern culture on the skids so will make other plans for dinner!

      is this another schlow "consulting" gig gone awry?

      1. re: LeoLioness

        I also had a mediocre meal there about a month ago. I honestly don't even remember what I ate anymore, it was that boring.

      2. Appreciate the feedback. We went last evening before dinner as we had tickets for a show. We must have hit it on a good night. The place was full and we sat outside on the deck (warm, humid night there was a nice breeze and this was before the rain). We started with a variety of small plates: asparagus with poached egg in a jar, deviled eggs with bacon, bone marrow tots, mussels, kale salad with faro and then shared a main, the spicy duck with marrow cornbread. Bone marrow tots had a surprising spicy kick as they melted in your mouth. I love anything with a poached egg on top and the asparagus was no exception. Duck was not really spicy but was cooked perfectly and wasn't fatty, which is what I usually dislike about duck. Deviled eggs were simple, but so retro, when was the last time you saw them on a menu? Made me happy just eating them. Did not try the mussels, but they were served with two slices of thick toast which spouse used to enjoy every drop of the broth in which they were served. Server was prompt and attentive; I have a shellfish allergy and he made a special trip to the kitchen to inquire about an ingredient. Not really fine dining, but price was equal to the quality. We both really enjoyed our meal and would dine here again before a show.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Kat

          the biltmore has deviled eggs. :)

              1. re: phatchris

                and Highland Kitchen, JM Curley, Bon Me

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  And Merrill & Co., and Local 149, and The Hawthorne, and Coda, and The Citizen, and Russell House Tavern, and about 50 other places.

                  Used to be a novelty (I remember how tickled I was at Oleana's outstanding version about 15 years ago, when a meze menu section was something new); now you can't escape them.


                2. re: Kat

                  I have only been to the Sinclair once before a show - and I have to report that we, too, must have been on an off night if the place is indeed the disaster others report. I had the steak tartare and a beet salad that was fab. My husband had the burger that was perfectly serviceable. The service was a bit off, but not that I would complain about it or even really remember it - and the server himself was super nice in spite of the timing issues. The joint was crazed and there was a big show - so the atmosphere was wild. (Enjoyably wild for us - not sure how the staff liked it.) Overall, I thought it was great to have the convenience of dinner before the show - and we all loved our food. So... count me among the dissenting. I'd go back again before a show.

                3. Thanks for the correction. I should have said that in my experience, I'd not seen them in a menu recently. Guess I need to expand my hipster dining horizons, LOL.

                  1. Resurrecting this thread. I was pleasantly surprised by a couple of snacks here recently:
                    fried pickles - the pickles are shaved, breaded and fried; unfortunately this lends to the pickle mostly falling out of the breading. Also, greasy. At least the dipping sauce was great.
                    disco tots - um, heck yeah. Awesome bar food. Potentially even better than all those tot dishes at Lower Depths. I am a sucker for tots.
                    buffalo cauliflower - I appreciated that the cauliflower was roasted, not fried. Well balanced; an enjoyable veggie dish.
                    Pimento cheese olives - the crumbled bacon added nothing - a DC commented that these would have been better fried.
                    BBQ brisket sliders - slightly dry, but the meat itself was tender and flavorful.

                    Drinks are well crafted. Services is forgetful at best, downright unavailable at worst.

                    I love the fact that you can really get dinner & a show here. And that the food is better than edible. We'll be back.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: gini

                      Oh, can you actually sit at a table and see the band? This changes everything, because going to a friend's birthday bash at TTs last week reminded me that I am 100% done with standing at gigs.

                      1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                        No, the restaurant is separate from the concert space in the same building. At the concert I went to there, it was standing only and it is a small space.

                        1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                          Sorry for the confusion - I meant that you can have dinner and then go see the show in the same building.

                          1. re: gini

                            Also, to clarify: In the music venue, there are some sections in the upstairs area where you can sit down. (No food served there; just seating.)

                        2. re: gini

                          This may have something to do with the fact that Schlow is no longer involved with the project, which given his recent track record is hard to view as a bad thing. The new guy spent time at Strip-T's and UpStairs: His menu seems to have a Southern bent to it.


                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                            Southern bent indeed. 3 DCs and I had an outstanding dinner there on Saturday.

                            We started with the current version of the deviled eggs, which trumps any version I've had anywhere ever. They hit every possible flavor note you could want. We ordered another round. Even 2 DCs who are generally "take it or leave it" when it comes to deviled eggs agreed we had to get another order. The current eggs have bacon and habanero. Not too hot: just the right amount of heat.

                            I insisted on the brussels spouts to get some sort of veggie. The molasses pickled garlic sounds a mess, but, again, just a great flavor profile. Not cloyingly sweet at all; I don't like "sweet" foods generally, and my antennas usually go up if something is relying too much on sweetness. It didn't simply pile on the garlic as a gimmick either--just enough. A little heat.

                            Pimento cheese toast was perfect. The mac and cheese was probably the most "by the book" item we got, but it still was worthy. The burger was a tiny bit overdone, but all was forgiven thanks to the duckskin mayo.

                            Drinks were all well made that night.

                            I love Highland Kitchen, but this place may top it right now, for this kind of eats. That said, now that I've type that, I really want to go back to HK soon, too. Dag.

                        3. Brunched here yesterday, before a show at the ART (well worth the time and money, go see it!). Quite uneven.

                          Menu offers "greens or tots" as a side to many of the brunch items, but they stopped carrying tots "awhile back" and you get fries instead.

                          Both our sides of fries were sent back, one was cold, one was nearly lukewarm. Quickly replaced with better fries.

                          My breakfast plate of fries, eggs, bacon and English muffin (half a muffin) was pretty good, although the bacon wasn't anything special. Wife's chicken salad sandwich looked like the place is slowly turning vegetarian, as the celery well outweighed the chicken. Commented on this to the waiter who sent over the manager who asked us what we wanted her to do, and we sort of sat there until she said she'd take it off the bill, which is what we were hoping for.

                          Too many other options in the neighborhood to try this again.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: L2k

                            Not excusing a bad meal, but you're really going to write off a place based on brunch? C'mon.