i used to post on this board all the time and went into hiding while i was planning a big event. said event now successfully completed, i thought i might report on some recent eating experiences.
the stanton social: just went there friday.
the food: dishes are hit and miss. all were tasty, none transcendent. there's a ton of small plates to choose from--our favorite was the foie gras terrine. a lamb taco was a waste of good lamb...ceviche was pretty good. my husband (aka "theporkchop") felt a little sick afterward, but i did not and we ate the same things. the chocolate tasting dessert was fantastic. the wines by the glass were very well selected and in the normal range of prices.
service: they didn't have our table ready, so we went upstairs for drinks. it was so crowded at the bar that we had no idea how they'd ever find us for our reservation. theporkchop went downstairs and turns out our table was ready...they said they were going to find us. once we got to our table, the service improved...only have one bathroom (that's one toilet) for a huge restaurant (is that even legal?). atmosphere is very noisy, and the crowd seemed to want to be "see & be seen" but it didn't quite get there. in all, we might go back with a group of people to try more dishes, but we aren't hurrying.
little giant: last week
this is one of our favorite little places. it breaks my heart that they can't seem to get their service quite in line with their food, which we consistently find excellent. we do love the casual, neighborhood-y vibe but it seems they could preserve that while smoothing out some of the rough spots. we had a cheese plate, which was fantastic (esp. the humboldt fog), and an amazingly savory cavatelli dish to start. entrees were just a mark short of the apps, a bass dish was very very good, and the kobe beef was very tasty and very well cooked but a little more sinewy than i would have liked. they seem to have reduced the pours in their quartino, but the wines again were well selected. speciality cocktails were fantastic as usual. we skipped dessert, but only cuz we were out of time. we'll keep going back there for the food, but i wouldn't recommend taking picky moms or first dates there.
august: three weeks ago
this was our first time at august after having it on our list for a long time. they don't take reservations but we were seated immediately on a rainy night. the back room was slightly chilly. we found the service to be excellent--we never had an empty plate in front of us for long, and several different servers came to assist when we had various needs. i guess i'm a sucker for wines by the glass, but we found the selections here to be good also, if more limited than we are used to. the regular wait staff seemed knowledgable and happy to assist with selections.
as for the food, we ate from the raw bar to start and also had a dish with mozarella, nettles, and lemon butter (if i recall correctly)--whatever it was exactly, it was amazing and quite different from what we had expected. we were not feeling well, so we ate more conservatively than usual: i had a chicken special and theporkchop had bass (i think ). i wish i could recall more accurately how they were prepared, but both were similar in an early fall palette, if you will, with wild mushrooms and beans of some kind along with other fall veggies. we agreed that the fish was much better than the special--supremely well cooked, juicy, and flavorful. we took the easy road for dessert, with profiteroles, but accepted a recommendation for a dessert wine which was just fantastic. prices were a buck or two per dish more than i had expected, but well worth it. we will definitely be back to branch out with some of the more interesting entrees and apps.