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Restaurants & Bars 4

Report: Matterhorn Chef (long)

JonW | Dec 5, 2004 10:24 AM

After a failed attempt to try this intriguing looking place in July (they were on vacation), the spouse and I went last night. We arrived around 5:30 PM. A large private party was already going strong in the sizable back (?) room, but the long main (?) front space was virtually empty. Still, the young hostess regretfully informed us that there was no room (we didn't have reservations). She was over-ruled by an older woman (related to the Chef?)and we were ushered to the end seats of a long banquet table with the proviso that we'd be finished in less than two hours! No problem since we had a date for a memorial party at Duttons Bookstore before 7. We sat down in comfortable leather-padded seats. It looked like my kind of place. Funky Xmas decorations and shiny red banquettes. Wait staff with matching red vests and starched white shirts. The motherly waitress came by with a wonderful relish tray and great bread. We dived in with relish (sorry). A nice pate was featured. Tasty. At the same time, we were asked if we wanted drinks "mit" our tray of goodies. Nothing for the spouse. A martini for me (not German, I know, but the bar looked like it might make a good one). It wasn't bad. Then the menu. Interesting looking mix of German, Swiss and Italian specialties. I figured I'd cut to the chase and ordered Weiner Schnitzel. The wife went for Veal Marsala. Waiting, we stared out into the still empty dining room, set for a number of large parties. The chef, a large jovial man with a tall starched toque, roamed the room. He seemed like my kind of character. The food came, and it was more than ample. The Marsala with veggies and pasta, the Schnitzel with smooth mashed potatoes, somewhat mushy red cabbage and a large, nice-looking crispy veal patty. The potatoes might have been from a box, but they tasted good, including a small pond of gravy. The cabbage was undistinguished. The veal could have been more flavorful, but it was better, believe it or not, than the same dish when I had it during the last days of the legendary Black Forest Inn before it closed. The wife wasn't impressed with the Marsala (she can be picky). I tried it, and it wasn't bad. Again, not particularly flavorful. We ended with a Black Forest cake which was dry and again, without much flavor. As we left a little after 6:30, the front room was still deserted. The final tab was close to $70 with tip, perhaps a little much for what we got (slightly above average home cooking)plus $2.50 for parking, but I wasn't all that disappointed, even if I didn't find the food especially remarkable. I guess I'm just an easy-going guy whe it comes to red banquette restaurants. Spouse said it was okay, but had no great desire to return.

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