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Reviews of Thor (good) and Cookshop (not so good) -- Long

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Reviews of Thor (good) and Cookshop (not so good) -- Long

amyknyc | Nov 7, 2005 10:15 AM

Scored last minute reservations on Friday night to Thor, which I highly recommend checking out. We got there a little early for a drink at the bar – a nice large area with plenty of couches and bar stools. By the time we left at 10:30 though, we pretty much had to fight our way out the place was so packed.

There were two of us and we started out with the hamachi, avocado and sweet tomatoes appetizer, which was pretty good. Nice chunks of hamachi, but my only complaint was that there seemed to be a bit too much sea salt on the plate (at least one crunch with every bite). We then split the squid and squid ink pasta which was a great dish. Tons of squid cooked perfectly and very thin pasta tossed with a light tomato sauce. For mains, I got the lobster – hands down the best dish of the night. It’s a tail and two claws (I think) that are pouched until they are so soft and then dressed with a light bernaise sauce. It was wonderful. My husband had venison and for the life of me I can’t remember how it was prepared (and it’s not on the online menu). He was pretty happy with it. For dessert, we ordered the Snicker bar which was great and they brought us a complementary order of the chocolate lollipops. I was so full I could barely eat it, but they were like fried chocolate sauce. Hard to describe but really fun. The service was good (although they began with that annoying question, “Have you dined with us before?” in order to explain a menu that basically consisted of apps, mains, and desserts). My one complaint is that the meal started out really fast and when they brought our pasta out as they were clearing the hamachi and we had only been seated for 20 mins. I asked them to slow down the pacing, which they did nicely. With a bottle of $50 wine and tip the total came to just under $200. Oh, last thing, it does get really loud in there, but it wasn’t offensive.

Cookshop on Saturday night turned out to be an almost opposite experience. I’ve read so many promising things about this place that I was excited to try it, but we had a pretty bad meal (It’s funny, because I just got Andrea Strong’s e-mail and she was there the same night as I was and ordered totally different things, which makes me wonder if we ordered wrong). We were seated back by the open kitchen which was fun to watch but twice during our meal an unpleasant fishy smell seemed to overtake the back few tables. If you go, I would ask to be seated in the front area. There were four of us and we ordered a couple of appetizers – the duck taquitos, which were labeled as snacks and for $6 were two very, very small taquitos. They were good, but we were a table of four so if you’re a larger table the snacks aren’t really the way to go. We also had the chicken-fried duck livers, which were good and an order of clams in a corn broth. The clams were fine, but even better was soaking up the broth with the bread. We also had a half a dozen oysters, which were just fine.

The problems hit when we went onto the main dishes. When we were ordering, my husband and a friend were asking the waitress for suggestions. She went on and on about how she loved everything here, etc., and then highly touted the rib-eye (the most expensive entrée at $36, I think). Both men ordered the rib-eye. When it came, our friend’s piece was the fattiest piece of meat I’ve ever seen. Yes, the rib-eye is a naturally fatty cut, but the entire thing was pure fat. It was inedible. (My husband’s piece was a little better and he was able to eat most of it.) After about 10 minutes we were finally able to hail our waitress (who never stopped by to ask how things were) and we told her the problem. She immediately got a manager who handled it fine (offered him something else and when he didn’t really want to wait took it off the bill). But here’s my problem: Why on earth was this piece of meat even cooked and served? Obviously someone in the kitchen would have noticed that the piece was entirely fat. So why give it to a customer? Other entrees were just ok. I had a duck breast with cherries that was very bland. Another friend had the chicken, which again, was pretty underwhelming. I know this place is priding itself on organic meats, produce, etc., but they need to find a way to give it more flavor. Dessert was good – we had the sundae with butterscotch and a chocolate thing I’m not quite remembering and they were both fine. The bill with a bottle of white and a couple of glasses of red and tip was $130 a couple (this is without one steak entrée).

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