As a follow up on my post of earlier in the week, we ended up at Panama Hattie's -- it is where my son, a Johnson & Wales graduate, wanted to go.
I should warn everyone at the beginning that the place is very pricey -- $58 prix fixe for a three course meal. With wine and tip, we dropped almost $250 (the tip was more than I paid for a four-course dinner at a four star restaurant in Hull, P.Q. a couple of weeks ago). The portions are, however, far from small -- you will not go away hungry.
The restaurant is nicely appointed. There are several rooms with no more than ten or eleven tables in each. One can eat and have a conversation in relatively peaceful surroundings.
The chow (I just had to say that), however, is exceptional. First, they brought a small seafood sausage on a bed of a vegetable slaw. My first course was pan-seared squab on a bed of broiled mushrooms (Unfortunately, I am not a fan of mushrooms, and I cannot provide a report on them). The squab was about a five ounce portion and was quite tasty. My son's raw tuna steak was equally notable.
My main course was New Zealand venison -- a chop broiled with a macadamia nut crust, and five or six pieces of tenderloin. The two provide an interesting contrast in taste -- although the chop was far better. Accompanying the venison were steamed carrots, zucchini, and wild rice, in a basket (bottom and sides) of french fries (its the presentation, not the taste here. The venison was as good as anything I have ever eaten. My son had the same second course, and echoes my opinion.
My wife had monkfish and lobster on Asian vegetables. She says the lobster was excellent, but the monkfish was less impressive. This may be because she is not a great lover of fish -- comments from the next table were very positive.
My dessert can best be described as Pecanhenge. A scoop of excellent butter pecan ice cream, three pieces of a chocolate pecan truffle-like concoction standing on end, and a pecan cookie on top.
The wine list, however, is competent, but not outstanding, and expensive as sin. We had a glass each, which was enough -- the emphasis is on the food, and the wine really is a complement.
Would I go again -- for a special situation, yes. My verdict: excellent, but a tad overpriced. The consensus here: the proper prix fixe price would be about ten dollars less. Apparently, however, they can get $58, so it does not seem that there will be any changes in the appreciable future.