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Had early dinner at Juniper Commons last night. Went armed with the comments from this board. Regarding the noise level, the music really wasn't intrusive (more Hall and Oates/Chicago than heavy metal), and conversation wasn't difficult for our party of 6. However, it was early and the restaurant was only half full (at most), so I'm not sure how well the acoustics work when it's full. There are sound-absorbing panels hung from the ceiling, so I'm sure they help. We shared Caesar Salad and Pork Sausage apps, and both were very good. For entrees, a few in our group had the trout and reported that it was good, not great. The prime rib was reviewed as 'excellent', but not special. Short rib was well-reviewed, and I had the eggplant casserole, which was a little too dry and unremarkable. Side order of roasted Brussels sprouts was over-charred with an unnecessary sauce on top. Dessert was a decent creme brulee and an okay chocolate layer cake. The surprise was the homemade tonics on the drinks menu. We tried several different gin and tonic combinations, and all were good. I especially recommend the Juniper Commons tonic - very interesting and refreshing. Total cost was $55 per person.
The 80's concept is odd. The menu seems closer to 'comfort food' than anything else, and touches like a Caesar salad made tableside just aren't all that interesting or evocative. The decor doesn't quite convey an 80's feel - the most obvious flashback to that is the TV over the bar that plays 80's shows.
In all, we'd go back for drinks. The concept isn't enough to sell us on a return visit for the food, and the food wasn't enough of a standout to bring us back.
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