As a Arlington resident, was very excited to receive gift certificate to Tryst for dinner. We planned for a Saturday night dinner at prime time. We arrived and the place was full and noisy -- the dining room is pretty dark as well. The server was full of knowledge, enthusiasm, and much-appreciated opinions of the wine and food options.
Following really good, basic (gin) martinis, we ordered the mushroom fondue to start, as it was appealing on a very cold night outside. The flavor of it was really good, but the cheese was quite hard in places and it was lukewarm at best. Next we had Caesar salad -- it was one of the best traditional renditions I've had in a very long time.
For dinner we ordered the Duck/Lasagna and Stuffed Trout entrees -- my duck was lukewarm AND overcooked (med well vs. med rare as ordered)- how does that combination happen? The flavors were really good.
My wife's trout was inedible -- the flavors did not work at all and it too was (quite) cold -- she wasn't eating it at all (the first time ever that this has happened with her) and the server was quite concerned --even calling in the manager.
We were ultimately persuaded to let them make the hanger steak for her instead -- after waiting for it, it did taste good, but again -- overcooked and served lukewarm -- how did this happen -- again??
Finally, dessert -- basic creme brulee was OK, but underdone in the center (runny) -- at this point, we were convinced that something was up with the heat sources in the kitchen that night (or were they just in too much of a hurry -- but we didn't feel rushed at all). The apple tart we ordered arrived as banana cake initially, but was quickly corrected and was also quite good.
Again, the server and the dining room manager really, really wanted us to be happy, but alas, they didn't control the food coming out of the kitchen...
Conclusion: while it appears to be a noble attempt at upscale dining in the burbs (at urban prices) that most of the rest of the crowd that night seemed to be thoroughly enjoying, we are pretty sure the next time we're spending $165 (that's not mostly a gift certificate) for a night out, we'll be headed elsewhere (Scutra remains our high end option in Arlington, but it's more likely to be ECG, Central Kitchen, Chez Henri, B&G, etc.)
We may stop into the inviting bar at Tryst for a cocktail and appetizer in the future just to see if it's different from our initial dining experience.
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