Having been to FIRST AND HOPE three times previously - and loved the upscale southern food, so good - I was thrown last night when I brought a friend who I knew would love it. We sat down and the menu came... completely different menu. It is now a pretty standard American menu - duck, lamb, steak, chicken, cod, etc. We almost left, as I wanted to treat her to a special dinner and figured we might as well go to CHURCH AND STATE, which is the bomb. But the booth was nice and it was quiet so we stayed, as we also wanted to talk.
The food was fine - nothing incredible, though my strip was very top notch. And they at least still have the pimento cheese spread to start. Cocktails are still terrific. The waiter said the first chef left, a new chef came in, changed the menu, and then after three months left as well.
As good as the cocktails are, and I do like the space, I am not sure I would return. I can get that kind of food anywhere. What made the place extra special to me was the food.