The Spousal Unit and I had lunch at the Z-Grille yesterday.
If you haven't been there, the restaurant is visually stunning. The whole front, street-side wall is floor to ceiling gleaming glass. The opposite wall is a sleek surface of warm-colored polished, bent-wood. The bent wood wall incorporates a banquette of bentwood. The tables are stainless steel topped. Every detail is harmonious with the modern but warm, ultra-sleek, ultra-chic feeling invoked.
Service was competent, congenial and prompt.
We tried the "California" deviled egg appetizer. The eggs were delicious and nicely presented on a glass plate with a leaf of frilly and crisp red leaf lettuce. At $4.00 for three egg halves, it did seem a bit dear.
Onion rings were ordered to go with out mains but came out with the eggs. This was only a minor service bobble, IMO. The onion rings were golden, hot and crisp. They were served with a mild horseradish dill dip. They were very good, but at $5.00, the portion was fairly modest.
The SU ordered the "Cali" burger - avocado makes something "California," I guess. It came with the "seasonal potato salad." I had the duck breast salad. The salad is described as "Maple Leaf Farms duck / baby red leaf & herb lettuce / sesame vinaigrette." The salad was gorgeous - crispy duck cooked medium rare as ordered atop frilly leaves of red lettuce with a julienne of carrot and red onion. My only complaint would be that the "baby" red leaf lettuce leaves were HUGE making the salad very unwieldy to eat. I have some odd aversion to taking a knife to my salad.
I had an iced tea and my SU had a soft drink to round out the meal. Total wallet damage came to $38 and change plus tip.
I came away from the meal asking my SU this: "The place is nice, the service is good and the food was good. So why didn't I like it?"
"This is a 'Place To Be Seen,' " was the SU's answer. I think he was right; it's just not our kind of place. Today, for the same price, we had a very different lunch in a very different place that was absolutely satisfying on many levels, but I'll save that for another post.
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