Five of us alternated between scraping our plates and scratching our heads as we tried to make sense of why so many so-so places do better business than this exemplary restaurant.
I can only guess that most folks who go to restaurants have other priorities than excellent food, because otherwise, Chaz would remain one of the area's hottest tickets.
My warm scallop and braised radish salad with hazelnut vinaigrette was terrific, as was my (generous) seared venison chop with caramelized persimmons and fettuccine. My companions oohed and ahed over such selections as Hudson Valley foie gras torchon with fig marmalade and grilled bread and roasted stuffed sardine with Swiss chard and roasted tomatoes. Mains included slow-roasted wild king salmon with braised Brussels sprouts and roasted tomatoes in Port sauce and grilled breast of squab with potatoes persillade and mustard sauce.
Desserts included a very tasty pear tarte Tatin with creme fraiche ice cream.
Prices for first courses range from 7.50 to 15; main courses are all in the mid-twenties. Desserts cost 7.
We've had many disappointing meals at highly touted spots, yet whenever we return to this hideaway just around the corner from booming Chestnut Street we're reminded of the "bluebird in our own backyard," which, I fear, will soon fly away if food-lovers don't rally round this talented chef/owner.
If you look back at some of the greatly missed Limster's posts a couple of years ago, he too thought very higly of this neglected Marina gem.