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Restaurants & Bars 11

jack the horse tavern

vatl619 | Mar 15, 200806:01 PM

so... we had been told by friends who live right nearby that it was hit or miss - sometimes great, quick service and food to match and others sloooow with nearly raw, inedible food.

we definitely have seen the contrast now.

went a couple weeks ago for brunch. i had the baked eggs with goat cheese, prosciutto, etc. my boyfriend had the eggs benedict version with fried oysters. both dishes were delicious. seriously. the flavors of the fried oysters were unique, crisped and salted to perfection. even the side greens impressed as we both had slightly different varieties on each of our plates. the place was bright, airy and packed, bustling with a heights brunch crowd -- every excuse for slow service, but did not notice anything taking more than 2 minutes longer than it should have. left impressed, and told our friends who listened skeptically...forewarning us of our next visit.

just came from dinner there tonight...
i started with the spinach salad with apricots, cranberries, cherries, pecans & goat cheese. this was certainly the highlight of the meal for me. the combination and consistency of the mixed fruits were different than the average salad of this type. i cleaned it off. my boyfriend started with their mac&cheese. he seemed to enjoy thoroughly, i took a bite as well, enjoyed the smoked gouda addition, which distinguished it from your average mac&cheese.
for entrees, we split the burger and the special fish dish -- striped sea bass with broccoli rabe, mushrooms, and sweet potato gnocchi in a mushroom parmesan broth. the fish sounded absolutely delectable when described. when it arrived, the fish tasted like nearly nothing, the broth added nothing, the vegetables surrounding it were acceptable, but seemed like they simply didn't go with the dish, the sweet potato gnocchi was rubbery and again somewhat tasteless. the highlights of the burger were the asiago cheese on top (adding a stronger flavor than most cheeseburgers) and the pickled onions on the side... the burger itself, i tried to pick up, but there was SO much grease and oil running down my fingers, i had to resort to cutting haphazardly. the meat itself - eh. fries were a normal B level...but this is hard to go too wrong with i acknowledge.

since we left some of the fish, we figured we'd let ourselves split a dessert. we probably should have just stopped for tasti-d on the way home. we ordered the chocolate brownie -- again...it sounded much better than it was in reality. three little brownies -- so dry and crumbly (not in the good way) that the only way to eat them was drenched in the gelato on the side. without, they were practically inedible. the chocolate gelato on the side was cloying (and this from chocolate lovers.)

all this being said, the service was excellent tonight. our server was pleasant, attentive, our water was filled up constantly, and we were asked multiple times if we needed anything else. one minor note: diet cokes are $4 each! we weren't drinking tonight, but we might as well have for the same price really.

so... after these two experiences, my question is -- what are other peoples'? i'm not opposed to going back and giving things another shot - i like more than 50% of the food i've had thus far, and do really enjoy the ambiance (though, being a young couple, we did notice just how much older the scene was tonight... not that this is a problem, just very evident.) so my question is: was tonight just a case of bad ordering? would love to hear anyone's thoughts - persuade us to give it another shot or stay away forever.

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