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Restaurants & Bars

Parkway Grill, Pasadena - somewhat disappointing

Suvro | Aug 25, 200412:48 PM

I took three Japanese visitors for a business dinner to Parkway Grill last night.

Since they are more exposed to California Chardonnays and Cabernets, we chose a Viognier and a Pinot Noir to drink. Both were excellent - I am not enough of a wine afficionado to remember the wineries and the vintages. At our request, the red was served in a decanter to allow for "breathing".

We shared one of the pizza appetizers - it had candied walnuts, thinly sliced eggplant, and a very good cheese which was mentioned, but now I don't remember. This was just perfect with the Viognier.

I had their sauteed foi gras. This was disappointing. The foi gras was decent, but the surface was charred to a crisp and had a very burnt bitter taste. The sauce reduction (figs?) was OK, but the thin slices of apple were not enhancing the flavor of the dish. Mismatched, in my opinion.

I had their special for the day - a buffalo porterhouse - done medium rare. The meat was tough in parts. The sauce was just OK, not something memorable. The garlicky broccoli was good. The accompanying risotto was completely flavorless - it needed salt to wake up what was left of it. How could the chef not have tasted it before plating it?

For dessert, I had the creme brulee - this is their rendition of cream brulee - it is a sandwich of custard between two wafers, with a caramel sauce pooled at the bottom. Not what I was expecting - but the taste was good.

Two of the visitors shared their oyster appetizer - a set of Malpeque on ice. They said these were very good. I did not ask them how their main courses were or the spot prawn appetizer that they also shared. They shared the peach crumbler (special for the day) for dessert.

The service was impeccable.

In all my past visits to Parkway Grill, the food had exceeded my expectations. So this visit was a bit disappointing!

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