Here's another long review (I can't help it;-).
In search of a resto for my mother-in-law's 85th birthday, and on the recommendation of several CHs who's opinions I respect, we went to The Globe Bistro on Friday night.
We had an interesting evening which I would characterize as a bit of a mixed bag. The resto is the former Cafe Brussels, though there are no vestiges of it's former life. The room is really lovely and elegant with soaring ceilings, wonderful lighting and contemporary art, white linens. One of the things that struck me was as soon as we arrived and were being escorted to our table was that every server we passed made eye contact and said hello, as did several in the open kitchen. We were seated at an OK table in front of the walk-in wine cellar. I think the banquets against the wall are more desirable and more comfortable. One of our dining companions had forgotten his reading glasses and asked the maitre d' if he had a spare set. A box was presented with five or six strengths of magnifying glasses and the comment, "Courtesy of Josephson's Optical". Nice touch. In addition, our friend was presented with a small battery operated light with which to better see the menu. The lighting wasn't particularly dim to us, but he found it helpful (and fun to play with).
Our waiter Jordan (we asked...he didn't say "Hi my name is Jordan and I'll be your server"), was fantastic and made the night. More on this later. The menu is lengthy, adventurous and interesting http://www.globebistro.com/menu.php, but certainly not what I'd term bistro fare, not that it mattered. Just an observation given the resto name. In addition to the main menu was the Summerlicious menu, which we summarily ignored. The wine list was simply excellent. Notable were seven (!) champagne/sparkling wines by the glass, as well as 17 whites and 10 reds by the glass, including some interesting and unusual choices. Prices were very good for both glasses and bottles.
Organic Tottenham Speckled Trout Tartare - served with warm blinis, lemon creme fraiche, whitefish caviar, fleur de sel (two of us had this) - Fresh, light, delicious and beautifully presented but tartare needed seasoning to hav any flavour since the fish is so mild and delicate.
Vidalia onion soup in a broth - sounded lousy to me. But our friend, who stated he's not a big soup eater raved about this soup.
Cumbrae's Naturally Raised Rib-Eye Steak served with fois gras and bone marrow butter stuffed back into the marrow bone and presented vertically, truffled yukon gold puree and glazed pearl onions. - The plate looked great and my husband enjoyed the perfectly cooked steak. The potatoes were delicious, redolent with roasted garlic. The pearl onions were a caramelized joy.
Two of us ordered the main special which was a pork chop that was rapturously described and highly recommended. I cannot remember the accompaniments other than the fingerling potatoes, baby squash, spinach, I think, in a pool of something unidentifiable but referenced as being leek based. The pork chop was very fatty and served very rare, not a way I like to eat pork. The vegetables were delicious. Our friend sent his back and instead asked for another bowl of the soup he so enjoyed. I picked at mine, eating around the rare centre.
Dinner was accompanied by a 2005 McManis Family Viognier - very nice, and a 2004 Torbreck "The Struie" Shiraz - delicious and complex.
Husband enjoyed a chocolate dessert which he said was good, not memorable.
Friend ordered the chocolate ice cream sandwiches with a sauce (sorry, can't recall). The presentation was teeny, tiny. The sandwich cookies were hard as rocks and inedible and there was little sauce.
I ordered the sour cherry cobbler, also a teeny presentation of one hard, inedible biscuit and a smattering of what tasted to be canned squishy cherries (though I was told they were cooked sous vide - an utter failure in this instance).
Both of these desserts were sent back and replaced with a cheese plate with four of the very best cheeses I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy, served at the correct temperature with warm toasted baguette rounds and lovingly described by "Ed", the maitre d' who told us he's in charge of cheese. Each cheese had a small matched accompaniment (candied nuts, fig jam etc). Bravo Ed!
Despite a few glitches at dinner, Jordan made the evening lovely. No the service wasn't perfect (spilled red wine while decanting; wine and water glasses not topped; I wasn't asked about my pork chop even after our friend sent his back and I voiced my agreement). Clearly we were a demanding table. But Jordan dealt with every twist and turn beautifully and with very good humor and a lovely personality. He even told us the dessert menu is in review and will be redone very soon. Neither pork chop was removed from our bill. I think one should have been, since it was sent back. But that wasn't a dinner-killer for us.
Overall we really enjoyed the experience and will return to try it again. Globe Bistro has lots of potential.
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