My boyfriend and I made last minute plans to go to Bolo last night to take advantage of restaurant week, and the experience was disappointing. First, the service was mediocre at best. We decided to come early and sit at the bar. That was a mistake because the bartender was alternately ignoring us and rude. I ordered a pomegranate martini, which came out orange and tasted nothing like pomegranate. When I asked the bartender politely if she had given me the right drink, she basically told me that if I had read the drink menu correctly, I would have realized that the drink had orange juice in it. Whatever the drink was, it was not good, and it would have been a nice touch, since she noticed that I didn't like the drink, if she had given me a replacement. It would have resulted in a big tip and a lot of good will on my part.
The service at dinner was much more pleasant, but very inattentive. Our server came to our table 3 times during the entire meal--once when we ordered, once right before dessert came to replace our silverware, and then once when the bill came. Again, she was pleasant, but I think it's rather strange to not see the server (who meanwhile spent the majority of the night at the computer 5 feet away) at all between taking orders and dessert.
The food was the biggest letdown of the evening. First, the restaurant week menu was extremely limited. If I was a restaurant that wanted to attract clients (after all, we were able to secure reservations on a Friday night an hour after we called...), I would put some of my signature dishes on the menu to leave diners wanting to come back for more at regular prices. Apparently Bolo has a different (cheaper) strategy. There were 3 boring choices for appetizer (white gazpacho, chop salad, and salmon with polenta), there completely uninspired dinner choices (chicken, skate, and a vegetarian risotto), and 2 dessert choices (flan and white chocolate cake).
Boyfriend and I both started out with the chop salad. It was fine, but neither of us expected much out of a salad.
I hate the fried skate entree. Skate was good, although I've made better at home on my first try with skate from freshdirect. The piece of skate was fairly anemic, which meant that the fried crust overwhelmed the meat to some extent. The skate was served with a small cake (about 1 inch diameter) of fried rice. I didn't get this at all. It was overly crispy, salty, and just didn't go anywhere. There was also a little pile of spinach with the meal. This may have been my favorite part!
My boyfriend had the grilled chicken, which was moist and nicely spiced, but nothing to rush back for. This came with a "lemon potato croquette" that looked just like the rice cake that my meal came with but had a much odder taste to it. The chicken was also served with a small pile of spinach.
The worst part of the meal was probably the dessert. Both being fans of rich dessert, we each opted for the white chocoate cake. This was 2 small pieces of very dry pound cake with no hint of white chocolate to them at all. The cake was paired with a somewhat freezer-burned mango ice cream (or sorbet) and a few mango pieces. I don't think that others were enjoying the dessert either because the table across from us hadn't touched their white chocolate cake.
This was my first experience at Bolo. I do believe that their regular menu items are probably better than their restaurant week items, but I do not know this. Based on my experience with the food items I have tried so far, I will not be rushing back to Bolo to spend higher prices on food that may be better but may also be as mediocre as the food I sampled last night. I think that restaurant week is a chance for restaurants to put their best foot forward (even if at some expense to themselves), and Bolo certainly didn't do that.