Met up with some friends at Gargoyles last night - unfortunately, dinner wasn't as good as is the norm for Gargoyles. Our appetizers and desserts were wonderful - the entree wasn't, which was rather frustrating for the price and the expectation of quality. ;-(
A bottle of Cakebread Chardonnay was shared by all of us (recently added to the wine list). For apps, I had absolutely wonderful crispy (fried with a very light batter) tiger shrimp with a bit of satsuma tangerine on top, some caviar (although not salty at all) as well as a tangerine-and-something glaze. This was SO incredibly good, and I'd love a meal made of this.
My friend got the salmon topped with shredded daikon (I think?) and a bit of seaweed "noodles" and some crab foam. She admitted my app was better.
Our entree (which we shared) was a 1-1/2 lb. lobster stuffed with a crabmeat and andouille sausage stuffing and topped with sauteed garlic and fiddleheads, with a small dish of drawn butter alongside for the lobster. I was expecting a nice bite from the andouille along with the sweetness of the lobster.
Unfortunately, not to be. The lobster was left under the broiler way too long - the claws of the lobster were almost charred, and the meat inside was shriveled, dry and tasteless. :-( In addition, the crabmeat and andouille stuffing was black and burnt on top, and that's the only flavor you got (burnt) when you tasted the stuffing unless you dug under the burnt stuff to get to the unburnt portion. I also tasted absolutely NO andouille - and that stuff is usually spicy enough to stand out with even just a little bit of andouille. When we did find lobster meat in the tail, it *was* sweet and perfectly done, but there was just too little of it. Even my friend, a lobster fiend, said this entree was just not good.
We ended up leaving a lot of it on the plate. As my friend was buying, she chose not to send it back (there were only two left when we ordered one, so I don't know if we would have gotten a replacement). I left it to her to tell Jason he blew it. Not sure if either she or the bar staff did so.
Dessert, however, redeemed the night. My friend loves the black raspberry ice cream that is paired with other things on a dessert plate (from Christina's,I think), and she asked for and got just a few scoops of the ice cream. I got the warm gingerbread with peaches and blueberries, and candied nuts and homemade whipped cream. This time the pastry chef, John, sauteed the (thinly sliced) out-of-season peaches in some butter and brown sugar, so they caramelized and were extra sweet and soft - perfect with the gingerbread and the tartness of the blueberries.
So while I loved the apps and desserts, the entree was horrible. Very disappointing, based on the other excellent meals I've had here. I know the kitchen was busy with a buffet meal for an engagement party, but that is no excuse for the poor rendition of what should have been a tasty meal.