I had my first visit to Jardiniere on Saturday night. The restaurant is beautiful, we were up on the balcony, in one of the booths and the string quartet was playing and everything was lovely. I was a little shocked that, at 8:30 on a Saturday, the place was only about 2/3rds full.
We started with some oysters. One of the people I was with wasn't an oyster fan but felt that enough time had passed since her last experience that she should give them another try. These made her a convert. They were served with a mignonette (sp?) that was excellent, as well as some fresh horseradish. There was plenty of brine left in the shells, everything was perfect about these.
The perfection continued to our appetizers. I had the fresh corn soup with spicy tomato oil that was a special. I can't remember enjoying any soup (and I love my soups) more. One of my friends tasted it and also couldn't control the 'yummy' noise from exiting her lips. The only other appetizer I tasted was a roasted beet and artichoke salad that I thought was fine, but my friend adored. I wonder if the sweetness from the soup made the artichoke taste even more acidic to me.
The main courses were where I stopped being as enthused. I had the short ribs, which the waiter told me was one of the signature dishes. They were fine. There was nothing wrong with them at all, good even, but I was already a little full and they weren't worth the effort of eating. The other main dishes seemed to be the same, the chicken (another signature dish) was good roast chicken, and the salmon was fine, but since the other dishes had been so incredible, I expected more from the mains.
I am horrified to admit that I was too exhausted for dessert (had been working all day) so I have no thoughs on that at all. I will have to go in to have just dessert at the bar another time.
The food was very good overall, with the appetizers being excellent. But the amount of money we spent, I felt could have been better spent somewhere else. Do you think it was just an off night, or should I only go back for a few appetizers at the bar?