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City Hall Disappointment

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City Hall Disappointment

Abrocadabro | Aug 1, 2001 05:05 PM

Perhaps "disappointment" is not the right word, as I had read some mixed reviews of City Hall by other posters here. Nonetheless, I had hoped for a better experience.

This past Friday, I lunched at City Hall with 6 co-workers. I enjoyed the decor and the set-up of the restaurant -- very attractive, not too "bank-ish".

I thought the service was below average. It took far longer to lunch than it should have. The waitperson's recommendation of Yukon Gold scalloped potatoes disappointed the table. No refills of the bread basket (in fact, it was taken away when the main course was served). Chef Henry Meer was running around the main room for most of the meal, leading me to expect more than we got. Interestingly, after ordering, the waitperson returned to the table and mentioned that "Chef Henry Meer told me that he recommends for you the curry...", which we found hard to believe, since we had not seen him talking to her. We were tempted to pull him aside and ask whether he had really recommended something after hearing our order.

Picking up on suggestions at the board, I has the Grilled Portobello mushrooms, which comes with a side of arugula with shaved parmesan (interestingly, the person next to me got a salad that looked like a bigger version of my arugula/parmesan side). The mushroom were good, a little dry on the edges, but they had some bits of something crunch on top, which I could neither identify nor enjoy. Overall, it was fine. Someone had oysters and another person had a large serving of mussels; both said they were good. I tasted a neighbors grilled asparagus -- very good. I'd get that next time.

For the main, I had a hamburger and fries, deluxe. I ordered medium rare; it came a little more rare than medium. The much-praised bun disappointed me. It was the same diameter as the burger itself (I typically like a little more bun than burger, for cushion when the burger slides around on the lettuce/tomato/ketchup). The bun was the exact same dough/poppy seed mixture as the rolls in the bread basket, so it was actually a little too soft in my opinion. I prefer a crisp outside to my burger, with good grill flavor; this one had neither. Certainly not one of the best burgers I have had.

The fries were good when hot, but they quickly cooled and became extremely soggy.

I tasted others sides, including creamed spinach (which gave several people stomach upset), the aforementioned scalloped potatoes, and the hash browns, which basicallly was a big thick potato latke (it was fine; the crispy part was a little too thick).

A couple of people had a salmon dish, which went over well. One person had the whole fish grilled, which he devoured. I should have followed that recommendation.

I passed on dessert, due to the aforementioned spinach.

All in all, it was OK, but not in light of the prices. I'd search for other options in the area first.

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