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Restaurants & Bars 25

Braise...oh my...

amysuehere | Dec 27, 201112:02 PM

Braise -
Sigh. Seriously, I wanted to come on this board and say great things about my evening out at Braise, yet I honestly can’t. I waited and thought over the weekend on whether I wanted to do this or not.

We walked into this tiny restaurant Groupon in hand and were told there was a “special menu” for the Groupon. Okay, prix fixe menu. No worries and was pretty much expected. But then we sat and sat…and sat; no water, no contact, no nothing. There were only three other tables and there were six waiters that we counted for sure and two other people behind the bar (managers?). We watched as food came out and “wandered” around the dining room, only to go back without finding its diner.

After about ten minutes, we were finally approached with a wine list. We asked for water and our waiter left. Eventually, we were served water and served “focaccia” bread with oil and vinegar. The strange thing is we were specifically told by the server it was “rosemary focaccia” but it was just white yeast bread. It was perfectly fine bread, but it was clearly NOT focaccia. Just odd.

Wine: Third time’s a charm. I’m sorry I can’t remember the choices we made now (we went on Friday, and I’m just now writing), but we made our first choice, a mid-range red, and the waiter went off and came back to tell us they were out of that wine and suggested another red that was the more expensive. We didn’t select that one, but picked another nice middle of the road red. Again, off he went and AGAIN came back said they were out of that wine too. Okay, these are on your menu: You should have them in stock. So, on the third try we got one of the more expensive reds which, surprise, was in stock.

On to the food. Not a lot of options – one soup, one salad and two pork dishes, a chicken, but no fish.

For appetizers, husband got the andouille sausage with grits and I got the sashimi. Oh my… His grits were thin to the point of watery and my sashimi was presented a la “Kitchen Nightmares” hacked (large ribbons, short-fat cubes) on a scallop shell on a paper doily on a large plate.

Next came the potato leek soup, served with the doily/large plate accoutrement. While the flavor was fine, the texture was non-uniformly grainy; there were tough pieces of undercooked potato and leek and little hard seeds we couldn’t identify.

For the main course, I chose the pork chop and asked for it medium rare. Our waiter then informed us that all the pork was pre-cooked to well. Pre-cooked? As in not right now? Yes. Yikes… but the only other choice was the chicken (which my husband already picked) and another pork dish. My pork chop was indeed pre-cooked to well. I only had a few bites and gave up. My husband’s chicken was disappointing too, dry and bland. He called the waiter over and asked when the chicken was made and was told that it was made daily but not fresh for each dinner order (a.k.a. it was pre-cooked as well.)
Bread pudding was just very dense, semi-sweet bread and was so cold that the ice cream that was served on top (Amy’s Ice Cream) wouldn’t melt. Also, the chocolate was bitter.
Okay, I really hate giving bad reviews.

Really, I do. But at some point this stopped being comical and started being sad; no?

Fred the manager/chef came by. He just approached us, said “There’s just no excuse and I’d like you to try us again,” and gave us a $50 certificate. Our bill without the Groupon would have been about $130. I appreciate the gesture, but I don’t think we’ll be using it.

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