Thanks, Jerry, for your recent tip on Bulldog. We went tonight (Saturday) and enjoyed the place and, for the most part, the food.
We'd both had decent lunches so we weren't really up for both appetizers and entrees so we just shared a Reuben and an Osso Bucco.
The Reuben wasn't bad but it was different. At first I thought it might be the dressing giving the unique taste but upon sampling unsauced bits of corned beef, I realized it was the corned beef itself that was different. My dining companion agreed. The best way either of us could describe it was that it was as though the corned beef had been smoked. Yes, sounds odd. Wasn't particularly off-putting -- just...different.
I wish the bread had been better. It was just two ordinary, regular sliced pieces of dark rye. Not particularly distinctive dark rye. More along the quality of commercial grocery store corporate dark rye. And it wasn't really crispy grilled and it was a bit too soggy on the bottom right from the start. Almost like it was simply warmed rather than really grilled properly.
In a place like this and at the price for a Reuben, I also would have liked to have enjoyed a better quality of kraut, too. This was just standard canned stuff. I'd like something more akin to homemade, slow-cooked kraut. The cheese was good and so was the dressing. And the fresh fries were particularly tasty and piping hot. But nary a condiment on the table, not even salt, and I hesitated to ask for catsup or mayo for the fries. I should have.
Presentation should have been much better. It was just the sandwich cut in half diagonally with a mess o'fries. Not too artistically arranged as I might have expected here. But none of it was bad enough to send back.
The Osso Bucco was pork shank rather than veal shank which at first bothered us a bit, but we got over that quickly. It was quite divine! The wine reduction sauce was superb. The mashed potatoes and fresh asparagus was excellent. The presentation was absolutely smashing. I would have liked if the meat was more fall-off-the-bone tender but it certainly wasn't tough and wasn't at all fatty.
Oh, the salad that came with the Osso Bucco, well, the big slice of cucumber right on top was all dried out. But other than that, the salad was crisp, cold and quite tasty with the Asian dressing on the side.
The warm rolls were soft and tasty but the whipped honey-butter was a tad too sweet. I'd have preferred a savory butter rather than a sweet butter here if they felt the need to flavor the butter. Nice freshly whipped real butter without flavoring would have been my real preference.
We were both quite tired after a few grueling days so we took a pass on the booze but we did have fun reading the multi-paged drink menu. Lots of "historic" drinks through the decades of the 20th century were represented plus about 60 single malt scotches.
No dessert was offered -- just coffee or espresso -- and I hadn't noticed desserts on the menu. We were meeting friends at a coffeehouse later so we didn't want dessert anyhow but now I'm curious if they even had any.
The decor was as Jerry previously described it -- lots of dark warm woods and fascinating light fixtures. Handsome bar. It's a shame that during prime time dining hours on a Saturday night there were at most eight other diners there and three or four barstool sitters over the period of time we were dining.
They've been open about six months according to our waitress.
I visited their website which really drove me nuts. First off there was a tediously long download on the opening page with no opportunity to bypass it. And when at last it appeared on my screen, it was so frenetic it made me dizzy. Hovering over the links made more images pop up and none of them were all that appealing to me.
The "About Bulldog" page told me absolutely nothing. Waste of space ::bonk with a spoon bowl on someone's forehead:: Why can't restaurateurs divulge the owner's name, the general manager's and chef's names? What are they hiding? Aren't they proud of what they do? Don't they want people to know who they are? This lack of disclosure always bothers me on restaurant websites. Stand up and be counted, fer cryin' out loud.
I wanted to look at the menus again but I simply refuse to download menus in the .pdf format. Why should I clutter up my hard drive with that stuff when all I want to do is look at the menu? Why make it difficult for the patron to see what is served?