Thanks to those who responded to my questions about Bix. I went this weekend and here's how it went...
I chose Bix for its atmosphere and because its menu seemed like it would appeal to my friends who love good food but aren't adventurous. It definitely succeeded there because just about everything sounded great to everyone and it took us forever to decide what to order.
The food had a few lows, but overall I thought it was very good. If one were looking for a restaurant with great food and didn't care about the scene, I doubt I would recommend Bix. But if you're looking for a place with really good food and one or more of: a supper-club atmosphere, live jazz, great bar, attractive staff and/or customers; then Bix is a great choice.
Good dishes were:
- Smoke Trout Salad, with beets, fingerling potatoes, and creme fraiche. Perfect harmony of ingredients. My favorite dish of the night.
- Kobe Steak, served rare with whipped potatoes and jus. Outrageously umami-laden meat, one bite and it felt like somebody had coated the inside of my mouth with tallow. Very close second favorite.
- Firecracker Shrimp. The one thing I remember most about Bruce Hill's days at the Waterfront was his utter mastery of procuring and cooking shrimp. This continued that trend: six huge shrimp cooked perfectly with just a dusting of flour and spices.
- Steak Tartare, classic dish served tableside.
- Asparagus Salad, super-sweet asparagus is a light lemon cream sauce.
- Bananas Foster. A bowl of ice cream is placed down, then gravy-boat full of the chopped banana/rum/sugar sauce was poured over. Nevertheless the flavors were excellent, especially the intensely rich dark rum.
Disappointing dishes were:
- Quail - Both the quail itself (from char) and the salad (from the radiccio) were overly bitter, very much so. The only thing enjoyable in this dish were the croutons in the salad.
- Bruschetta with avocado and chorizo. The grilled bread had so much butter that it overpowered the flavors of the toppings.
- Truffle cheese croques. Nothing really bad about this, but I just felt that a mini grilled cheese sandwich was very ordinary compared to rest of the dishes on the table.