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Antrim 1844-The Smokehouse Restaurant-review


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Antrim 1844-The Smokehouse Restaurant-review

shellymck | May 17, 2004 04:25 PM

In my neverending search for a wedding location with really good food we went to Antrim 1844 on Saturday to spend the night and have dinner. They do a prix-fixe menu for $65 with a couple of seatings every night I think. In short, I would say that for Chowhounds in search of great food, it's not worth the trip just to eat there.

Dinner in their restaurant is always preceded by 30 mins or so of apps in their parlor. Apps were served by waiters on trays and included goat cheese and artichoke balls, seafood sachets, parmesan tart, shrimp tart, quesedillas, and some others I don't remember. Most were deep fried and none were served with toothpicks or other utensils. This a pet peeve of mine and somewhat surprising since fresh utensils for every course were set in the restaurant.

I had the smoked salmon cheesecake and lamb chops with white lentils and eggplant puree. Boyfriend had the lobster and corn gateau and filet with boursin. Both meals came with a "green" salad and champagne cranberry sorbet. I found that overall the food was very heavy. Even the green salad, which was a deconstructed seven layer salad, had chopped bacon and two dresssings: a mayonnaise on the iceberg and a vinaigrette on the greens. It was pretty obvious that the entrees had been plated and sat a while before the meat was finished. The duchesse potatoes with both were barely warm and I found the lentils/eggplant bland. The meats were well prepared however and the palate cleanser was yummy. Their dessert course is always a panache plate. Our plate included a mocha cheesecake that was overly sweet, a lemon tart that was zingy and light but nothing that I can't make at home, a Bailey's creme brulee and a honey peanut tuile with fresh berries (my favorite).

Service was fairly attentive but not when it came to wine. We and the other tables around us had to resort to pouring our own, especially since times between courses were quite leisurely. Because of this, I was quite taken aback when an automatic 20% gratuity was added on to our check (for a party of 2) because we were staying there. Though the waitress offered to change the bill I found it presumptuous.

Finally, though the grounds are beautiful the actual restaurant is not the setting for a special occasion meal. We were one of four tables seated in the actual Smokehouse. It of course still smells like smoke and the open rafters in the ceiling put a fine layer of dust on the table setting. I had to blow the dust off my bread plate when I sat down. The rest of the restaurant could have benefited from a coat of paint.

With the drinks before dinner, wine, two prix fixe meals, tax and tip, this was an over $200 meal that I found was not really worth the expense.

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