Finally made it to Combalou on Calvert Street. I'd been looking forward to this for quite a while and maybe that has something to do with my disappointment. It is a great idea (restaurant specializing in wine and cheese- both plates and entrees focused on the ingrediant) but is poorly executed. We went prior to a play at a nearby theatre. We were warned it would be crowded but was not at all. Things started off poorly. We ordered an artisnal cheese plate and a bottle of wine. The great thing is that the wine prices are very reasonable (the same that you'd pay to purchase a bottle from the wine/cheese shop part of the restaurant- few over $30. After turning in a dirty glass for a clean one, we settled in.
The cheese plate took so long in coming that we got up and asked the waitress if it was in fact coming. Prior to getting the cheese plate, I could see our entres waiting on the counter under the heat lamp.
From there things were pretty status quo. Not too exciting but not bad. The macaroni and cheese was good with smoked gouda but a little dry (maybe from the heat lamp?) and my friend's salad w/ goat cheese was fine if not particularly remarkable.
It just seems that if you're doing something so specialized, you'd hire staff that was well-informed and for a quiet night, that service would be much better. We'll return for wine and cheese but won't hurry and will go with expectations more in line.