I finally made it to Indebleu last week. The upstairs dining room has a very serene feel, and the combination of paint (deep red) and lighting certainly flatters the diner. The room was not crowded, so it was quiet, but I suspect that it might be generally quiet, for those looking for a less frenetic experience. A seat by the window affords great views of the bustle down on 7th below.
We got off to an odd start. Even though we had a reservation (table for two), a hostess greeted us not with "Hello" or "Welcome to Indebleu," but with "Which group are you with?" Confused, we asked, "Group? No, just us. We have a reservation." She just sort of grunted and walked away, leaving the second hostess to find our reservation. There were two tables of perhaps 10 in the restaurant, so I supposed she might have assumed we were with one of those tables, but wouldn't it be better not to assume? A little slip, but still...
The food outcomes were mixed. The mushroom dosa with manchego cheese was tasty. The cheese/mushroom combination worked, the crepe itself was perfect. I would have liked something a bit astringent to go with it (like cilantro chutney), but that's my preference. The corn soup was not good. In addition to being over-salted, it lacked much in the way of a broth/liquid component. It was a large plate of salty, cooked corn. A few bites of this went a long way. The entrees were nice - though my "rare" tuna wasn't all that "rare," and I do love it rare. The plate was gorgeous - slices of tuna, a mound of bright yellow corn salad (here much more successful than the soup preparation) and fat slices of barely cooked yellow and orange tomatoes. Very autumnal. SO had the pork tenderloin special, three big pieces of tenderloin with a sweet potato puree and greens. Again, the plate was beautiful and the flavors worked well together.
The service was hesitant and a bit lax...for example, after we ordered wine (from a stupidly overpriced wine list), the server failed to remove the cocktail menu, and even after we'd moved it to the empty table next to us, in an obvious sign of lack of need/interest, the server still just left it sitting there. At one point the servers also knocked over a table behind us. There wasn't much checking in after courses were delivered.
For just over $100 before tax and tip I thought the experience showed promise for Indebleu. I really liked having a quiet and relaxing meal in the lovely space, and for the most part, I thought the food was nicely done. I personally would like to taste more of the assertive Indian flavors that I love in that cuisine.
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