I took my boyfriend to The Orchard for his birthday this past Friday evening after reading raves from fellow Hounders and friends then confirming those reviews. All I can say is....
We arrived at 7pm and it was stiffling hot. The hostess was very sweet and promptly turned on the air. We ordered some of their flatbreads which absolutely deserved all they praise they've received.
I followed my mushroom flatbread (delish) w/ tuna tartare. It looked as if someone had taken a masher to the tuna; it was mushed and creamy and altogether unappealing. It was served w/ some over cilantro'd guac and not at all yummy plaintain chips that were too thickly cut for their intended use.
BF had the crispy lobster empanadas. They looked like mini corn dogs which could be cute were they not overly battered and served w/ (sensing a theme) over cilantro'd corn. Little too much yellow on one plate for me.
For my main, I chose the butternut squash agnolotti. It was so sweet, it shocked me. I couldn't finish it and there were only about six agnolotti on the plate. A stuffed pasta is usually somewhat soft but this was like baby food. Unfortunately, I wasn't wearing a bib. The flavors were unbalanced and unpalatable.
Though we both had room for dessert, we passed. The meal had been such a disappointed, we opted to pick some ice cream up on the way home.
After paying our bill and leaving a 25% tip we were finishing up the last of our wine, when the manager approached us and asked us if we would please finish up at their "beautiful bar". W/ a number of tables around us empty, I was offended at this breach of restaurant etiquette. Especially since we hadn't been there for 2 hours and there didn't appear to be anyone waiting for our table.
Our waiter was attentive and affable. The other staff was too eager to take away our plates-my bf had to say no twice to having his plate cleared away.
Maybe an off night? I don't know. I just know there are far too many restaurants in this city for me to give them a second chance.