While I have eaten through most of the appetizer/bar menu at 1300 Fillmore, I finally joined some friends to eat off the dinner menu. Starting with the one appetizer I had not yet tried, we ordered the sweetbread described as "Crispy Sweet Breads "Cast Iron" Corn Bread, Morel Mushroom Cream, Peppercorn Demi-Glace." For $11, this was almost an atrocity; three very small sweetbreads served with two dried morels soaked in cream, atop a hunk of cornbread (which we had ordered anyway). I was just thinking that a few blocks up the street, for $8 at SPQR, I could have an entire plate of several dozen sweetbreads.
Three of us ordered three entrées to share:
Fulton Valley Farms Organic Black Skillet Fried Chicken with truffle-whipped mashed potatoes and pan gravy. $21
Maple Syrup Slow Braised Beef Short Ribs, Crispy Onion Rings, and Buttermilk Chive Mashed Potatoes. $28
"Smothered Rabbit" Baby Turnips, Parisian Potatoes, Pearl Red Onions, and Rabbit Essence. $26
For starters, there is no difference between the chicken's mashed potatoes and the short rib's mashed potatoes. Or, I should say, if there is any truffle oil/essence in the mashed potatoes served with the chicken, it tasted no different than the "buttermilk chive" mashed potatoes served with the short ribs (which, by the way, seemed to lack any chive that I could see).
The chicken was reasonably good and tender although not as moist as I thought it might be and I desperately wished the pieces had not been de-boned. There is nothing quite so satisfying as gnawing on a great piece of fried chicken with one's hands instead of having to use a fancy-schmancy knife and fork.
For the short ribs, again I was slightly disappointed. The onion rings were slightly limp although nicely flavored with herbs in the batter. The meat from the rib fell obligingly away from the bones but was shockingly dry.
Then there was the rabbit. Here was a sincere chance at greatness for this dish had undoubtedly the best flavor. Enticing and rich, I struggled to discern the ingredients in the sauce. The disappointment, however, was in its minimalism; two meager legs. I could not but help compare it to Aziza's rabbit where you get two legs AND several medallions of sliced loin to enjoy. Here, the red onions complemented the rich sauce and intriguing complexity, but there simply was not enough of it.
Also, in my several visits, I have found the cocktail to be *very* inconsistent. This was the third time I had ordered a Sidecar and on this particular occasion, it was so strong with mediocre cognac as to be undrinkable (all three of us tried it).
We did finish up the evening with a dessert, a gingerbread napolean with quince-apple compote. Between the three of us, we didn't bother finishing the dessert; dry cake stacked with whipped cream, a crispy tuile, and a side of the fruit.
I am very sad about this as my first few visits eating just the bar food was quite good but this recent meal was shockingly disappointing. I'm sure I will go back as I think they are still working with training wheels and hope some of these problems will resolve themselves.