Went on a date with my girlfriend last night. We are regulars at Joseph Leonard and Jeffreys and while we don't *love* the food at either place, they are nice for a quiet lunch or a glass of wine during the daytime.
The place was mobbed as to be expected at 8pm on a Friday night. The ceilings are low so it feels a bit claustrophobic. The hostess dealt with the madness rather well and she did her best to seat everyone as fast as humanly possible. We waited 30 minutes before she sat us at the end of the bar. Towards the front, the bar was 2-3 people deep but the back was a bit less crazy.
The menu was very unappealing. I knew this coming to the restaurant but I figured we'd find some inspiration from what other people ordered. We ended up with some appetizers and salads.
The pig head were fried balls of fat...the bad bits of a pig head. Definitely not what you would expect in Montreal or London (or Lyon for that matter). The fry was good but it was heavy with little flavor.
The beef tartare with crispy rice was of the chunky variety. The crispy rice was so crispy, it could chip a tooth. The two did not mix well in taste nor presentation. This was another mediocre miss.
The scallop crudo would've been more enjoyable if they were sea scallops instead of bay scallops. It was slightly citrus-y. At $18, it was a small portion and relatively forgettable.
The only main we had was a rock shrimp and avocado salad. This item seemed to be tailor-made for the women in the house. It was fine enough I suppose. After the fried pig head balls, it was a welcome change of taste.
A side of roasted brussel sprouts on toast with parmesean was fine enough if the brussel sprouts were warm and the bread was fresh.
Service was pleasant but amateurish. It's early but it took way too long for the food to arrive and was sent out in a haphazard way.
3 appetizers, one main, 1 side, three drinks came to roughly $145-150 with tip. If the food was good, I would've been fine with it wasn't so I was disappointed.
Obviously, this is not to be a serious restaurant but a club a la The Lion. In that regard, the food didn't have to be any better than it was. I guess I was expecting more from an ex chef at one of my favorite Montreal restaurants.
170 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10014