Took my boyfriend to Chakra restaurant last evening for a "romantic dinner"... I had read its review in the Bergen Record and I was looking for something close to home, innovative, and romantic. What a dissapointment.
It seemed as if our waiter had just traded in his Chili's uniform for a black ensamble, as he introduced himself to us and proceeded to talk like a former game show host meets used car sales man.
After setting down the 5 pound menus (not to mention the 10 pound wine list) he asked to take our drink order. When we asked about the specials, he said he'd tell them to us when he got back with drinks. We purused the ambitious menu (dried miso crusted fois gras with sautern jelly) then asked the waiter for the specials. He read them off to us, quoting the prices for each. Maybe I'm a stickler about service, but come on, it's my anal rentive believe that if you're not leaving the restaurant without dropping 100$ for 2 people, the specials should be memorized...I digress....
An amuse bouche - what seemed to be a hushpuppy with mayonaise- was dropped off at the table, though not explained.
We ordered (my date, the fois gras app. and salmon entree; me, the romain salad with fried egg app, roasted halibut with mushroom jus entree) he took our menus away but left the 10 pound wine list, without ever asking what wine's we wanted.
Our first course was delivered in less than 5 minutes. The fois gras was over salted and still had that wierd vein in it while the romain salad had a seriously overcooked egg atop. Finally we were asked if we would like wine, though the waiter did not know where any of the wines came from, nor the variety. The wine list was interesting, and not altogehter overpriced, though the waiter was absolutely no help with the wine's by the glass. He merely stated it was "a new list" and he hadn't tasted any of them...I ordered a red with my first course and a white for my second, confusing my waiter who it seemed was not used to people not ordering multiple pitchers of Coors Light.
Our "small plates" (along with my forks and knives) were whisked out from beneath us literally at the same moment I ate my last piece of romaine and, within 1 minute, were replaced with our entrees in inverse. We looked at the entrees as they sat before us, trying to recall what exactly it was that we had ordered and why it did not look like we had thought it would and realized we had one another's dishes. Our waiter returned and sensed our confusion and attempted to pick up the platters and burned his hands on their superheated surfaces...I asked about my fork and knife and was given a butter knife and new fork.
My halibut was cooked well, moist on the inside, crisp on the ousided. The chive speatzle it was served with was seriuosly overcooed and the mushrooms SERIOUSLY oversalted. My date's salmon was overdone and undersauced, though his carrot/saffron sauce would have been delightful if there had been more to it.
we skipped the desserts,as both of our menu cards had some sort of funk on it (his a splash of last month's berry sauce, mine just overall dirty).
We were out the door within 1 hour 15 minutes of being seated, feeling hurried and like we had just ate a 125$ fast food meal in our car.