We had dinner at Praying Monk last night. There was a handful of patrons in the bar, but we were the only ones dining from 6:15-7:15 on a Sunday night, kinda disappointing to be the only ones. The food we had was quite good, if just shy of too-salty. I had the snapper over sunflower seeds, peas, bacon and onions and my wife had the chicken with lentils and leeks. The menu listed the chicken as roasted, but it looked lightly battered and fried. For $16, they gave you an airline-style breast (with part of the wing attached), two thighs and a drumstick. It was a small bird, very tender and perfectly cooked. It was almost too salty for me, and I like things to be well-salted, so it might've been too much for some, but I liked it. The lentils and leeks were a nice combo, too. My fish was also well cooked and tasty, and the hash of braised? sunflower seeds, peas, bacon and onion was interesting and unusual. Sunflower seeds looked like orzo pasta, so each bite was a little surprising, but it worked well. I had a nice Belgian Saison and my wife had a New Zealand Sauvingnon Blanc and both were good. Also worth mentioning was the delicious cheesy bisquits/bread. Soft, warm and rich with butter and cheese, these didn't need any of the additional butter they brought to the table. So good we took the rest home with our left-overs.
We used the localdines and that was a good deal, although they got the bill mixed up a bit, overcharging for the fish by $4 and undercharging for one beer by $2. Not worth the time and effort it would have likely taken for us to have it corrected, but not something I like to see. The price charged should be the same as the price on the menu, period. They also added in 20% tip based on the full amount, which is close to what we would have left anyway, but I always dislike having the restaurant determine the tip for me. I assume they do this on coupons and discounts to make sure that people don't tip on just the discounted amount, but I don't like being lumped in with those people who don't tip properly on a discounted meal. In their favor, they ran out of my wife's wine when she ordered a second glass, so they gave her the last of the bottle (about half a glass) on the house, which was a nice gesture and speaks to their understanding of service. They also gave me a few beer tastes to help me decide and I appreciated that as well.
I liked Praying Monk and we'll certainly go back. It reminded me of Citizen Public House in what atmosphere and cuisine they are going for and from my first visit, it seems they are doing it fairly well. I'd just like it to be a little more lively next time I'm there.
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