So maybe my expectations were high, cause lots of people in my neighborhood have been raving about this place, but i have to say, my experience was pretty terrible across the board.
My husband and i decided to go there for our valentines meal (which we always celebrate the day after, cause valentine's is just silly madness for restaurants)
Anyway, we arrived at 7:28 for our 7:30 reservation and we were promptly seated.
The waiter came over and took our order:
frisee salad with lardon's and poached egg
roasted monkfish with sauteed green cabbage and a truffle oil sauce
steak frites (ordered between medium and medium rare)
and one bottle of gigondas syrah
the wine came. it was awesome.
the appetizers came
the onion soup was very good, executed like a traditional french onion soup with nice cheese, good beef stock, tons of onions....
the frisee salad looked fantastic, but the first bite went down like a sour acid and stayed that way the whole rest of the way through. The salad was so overloaded with vinegar that any and all flavor or texture that the poached egg or lardons would have added to the salad was just gone. It was awful, but i shrugged it aside and left half the salad on my plate and eagerly awaited the entrees.
and so they came:
the roasted monkfish was put down in front of me and i almost cried. it was 3 chunks of monkfish totally covered in breading and sitting in a bowl of brown gravy with a lump of overcooked cabbage mounded up in the middle of the plate. My husbands steak looked much better (even though it was also covered in the same brown gravy, but more sparingly than the fish) and the fries were cooked nicely, not to greasy. We started to dig in, i ignoring the fact that my food looked and smelled like a cafeteria lunch. i tasted the monkfish. it was cooked perfectly, except the breading tasted pretty much raw and the thick gooey brown gravy just overwhelmed everything on the plate. i scraped off as much gravy and breading as i could and looked up to notice that my husband was scowling at his plate as he tried in vain to cut through his steak. "this steak is all fat!" he said when he finally got a peice cut off and began chewing and chewing and chewing, and then spit it out in his napkin. I pulled the plate towards me to inspect it closer, and replied "it's not fat, it's totally raw."
we both put our knives and forks down and waited for the server. when we finally managed to catch his eye, and expalin to him the rareness of the steak he whisked it away with many apologies and said he would have the kitchen finish cooking it.
and so we waited. i sat with my barely touched fish in front of me congealing in the brown gravy while we waited for the steak to come back.
so we drank more of our fabulous wine and then the steak returned with more fresh fries and cooked to the correct doneness.
i left my fish on the plate and proceeded to just eat some french fries.
the steak dinner was finished and since i was still starving we moved on to dessert.
The dessert was most definitely the highlight of the meal! we ordered the creme caramel and it was PERFECT. warm all the way through with a perfect burnt sugar crust. we were still scraping up the burnt bits on teh side when the waiter appeared and said "well, you certianly enjoyed that!" and i agreed whole heartedly.
the waiter was very nice. i know it was not supposed to be fine upscale dining, but still, there are a few things that would have been nice during the evening, mainly taking my fish away to keep it warm while the steak finished cooking.
we still tipped the waiter 20 % and deemed the wine and the dessert the saving graces of the meal. total with tip and tax: 160.00
unfortuantely, with limited funds, and no access to familial baby sitters, we won't be back.
i wish i could report otherwise. Chenery Park is still our favorite local restaurant in that hood.
by Jen Wheeler | At Christmas time, there are cookies galore, but true dessert lovers still crave something more substantial...