Restaurants & Bars

Ruby's on Bainbridge Island, Washington

Tom Armitage | Oct 23, 200201:26 PM    

I was looking for a nice place on Bainbridge Island to take my best friend and his wife out for my friend’s birthday dinner last Sunday night. After nosing around in Chowhound and elsewhere on the internet, I decided on Ruby’s on Bainbridge. Located in a Tudor-style building in Lynwood Center, off the beaten-track on the south end of the Island, the atmosphere at Ruby’s is comfortable, but nothing special. The menu was missing some intriguing sounding items from an almost three-year-old review I had saved, like spinach and sorrel torta with a cucumber-dill sauce and a chiffonade of cabbage sautéed with nutmeg, parmesan cheese, and cream. From the appetizers on the present menu, we shared a plate with hoummus, baba ghannouj, olives, tomato slices, and pita. The baba ghannouj had a nice kick of chili powder, and the olives were pretty good; but the tomatoes were tasteless and the hoummus was insipid. My wife ordered a duck confit salad, with dry, tough, horribly overcooked duck that the kitchen should have been embarrassed to serve. I had a beet salad with a combination of yellow and red beets that was very simple, but tasty. My friend had the French onion soup, and my wife and I shared a curried acorn squash soup. Both soups were good, not great. My friend and his wife both had chicken entrees, but neither my wife nor I tasted them, so can’t comment. I ordered a beef filet with gorgonzola sauce. I went to great pains to emphasize to the waitress that I like my steak rare--meaning red, not pink. She said she understood and delivered a steak that was cooked medium well. To her credit, she apologized profusely, took the steak back, returned with a steak that was cooked rare, and took the price of the steak off the bill. The steak, even cooked rare, was just okay. The undistinguished gorgonzola sauce was dry and crusted on top of the meat, and detracted from, not enhanced, the flavor of the beef. My wife ordered sautéed pork tenderloin with hazelnuts and gorgonzola. The meat was inedible. It had the texture of meat that had been whacked with a tenderizer mallet until it was overly soft and mushy. The pork was served with a gloppy, oily, totally uninteresting sauce. Both entrees came with two types of squash, one pureed and one sliced. A little variety on the side dishes would have been welcome. Maybe it was Sunday and the chef’s night off. But given the tremendous gaffes coming from the kitchen, I can’t justify giving Ruby’s a second chance.

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