I generally don't do a lot of "fine dining" when in kw (I go down there to visit my family almost every month and usually wind up at 5 Brothers, The Deli or 915 more than anywhere else). However, this past week, I had some extended family in town, so there were several dinners. I know that the Christmas/New Year time is generally regarded as one of the worst times to dine out down there, but honestly I was a little surprised at how bad some of it was.
I hadn't been to Michael's in over year. I generally recommend it, however this time around, several meat entrees (namely filet and lamb) were very overcooked, as were ALL of the chocolate volcanoes. They barely had anything molten going on inside. It was kind of sad. The salads were weak as well, with two caesars looking completely different from one another and a mediterranean salad being drowned in dressing. I swear the crabcake has gotten smaller as well.
I went to Hot Tin Roof for the first time, so I can't really say if it's changed at all. The smoked conch chowder was very good. My grouper was a bit overcooked and dry, but the artichoke/bacon mashed potatoes were excellent. I found the complimentary flashlight key chains a bit ridiculous, however. The dining room is dark, perhaps a little too dark for some to easily read the menu. It seems obvious that the solution is to turn up the lights a bit rather than furnishing every single customer with their own little flashlight that they can then do morse code with throughout the evening.
By far, the most disappointing of all was the new years eve dinner at Antonia's. I've only eaten there once since the restaurant has changed ownership and that time, just a few months ago, was excellent. The $85 per person NYE menu (antipasti, small plate, entree, dessert), however, was an embarrassment. None of the staff could confidently, let alone accurately, answer our questions about the menu. Perhaps the best example was when one waiter replied to the question, "What's the tourchon of oxtail and foie gras?" with "I believe the tourchon is a certain part of the oxtail." It went on like that throughout the meal. The lobster entree was perhaps the worst--half (yes, only half) of a Maine lobster tail stuffed with scallops and cream-- bland (aside from the funky tasting scallops) and overcooked.
7 Fish was by far the best meal of the week. All of the dishes and service were as good as ever. Lunches at Sarabeths were also consistently good.
Did anyone else have similar experiences? Have Michael's and Antonia's been slipping for a while? I hope not.