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Another Mediocre Experience at Joe's

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Another Mediocre Experience at Joe's

Walter Page | Sep 27, 2004 12:26 PM

I know that this subject has been discussed on a regular basis, but when such a highly acclaimed restaurant (at least from the general population) fails so miserably, it should be noted. First and foremost was a major screw-up concerning logistics. We went to Joe’s last night and lo and behold there was a street fair which blocked off the area around Joe’s. Therefore, there was no valet and parking, which is never good in the area, was even worse. The other couple with us spent 20 minutes finding a parking place which was a ten minute walk to the restaurant. They were nonplussed, but management really did not seem to care—their response that they shouldn’t have been expected to call everyone and tell them about the problem (OK, so it is not too much for many restaurants to call and confirm reservations, but it is too much to call and warn customers and potentially lose reservations). Beyond that issue, service in general was uninterested. My food was not horrible, but it was certainly not special. My wife’s slow roasted salmon was not the freshest fish and her sardine appetizer was, well, pretty unappetizing. My grilled scallops appetizer was simple and satisfying. My duck breast basted with fois gras did not compare favorably to a duck breast entrée that I had at a corporate get-together last week where about 50 people were having duck. Joe's version was over-cooked and the closest fois gras got to the duck was probably being waived over it. Perhaps I expected too much—I was remembering the free range half chicken cooked in a heavy broth infused with fois gras and cloves at A la Biche Au Bois in Paris—but there was no hint of fois gras in either my duck or that of our friend. Dessert was described as a chocolate soufflé and ordered early. Perhaps there was a more accurate description on the dessert menu, but this was no soufflé. Instead it was more like a small dome of something that was a cross between flourless choc cake and choc playdoh filled with chocolate syrup. This was our second time at Joe’s and the second poor experience—there won’t be a third.

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