San Diego Chowhound visits Seattle over the holidays and goes to Crave with husband and good friends. Thought long and hard about what to write in this post.
Im a foodie, and so are my good friends. This also means we can cook very good food in our own kitchens at home. We like to go out and enjoy good food and appreciate the overall experience. If you were to judge on food alone, the meal was OK.
I really wanted their signature dish, the shitake mac and cheese. It was listed on their printed menu at the hostess desk, in some ad I saw in a local Seattle paper, and it was listed as their signature dish in "eat.shop.seattle" book. But, it wasn't even listed on the menu, and upon my asking I was simply told, "its not available." The party ended up with the pasta fazool, pork chops, NY strip and gnocci.
Ordered an appetizer, crab and artichoke dip. Watched server go back to kitchen and give order to chef. Chef tells server they are out of something the dish requires. Server comes back to table and says "we are out of the crackers (or whatever) that goes with the appetizer." I say "Can you serve it with bread?", and the server says "that should be fine." Watch server go BACK to the kitchen and watch the chef tell her again what the issue is. Then comes back with the bad news, but she did apologize and state that they had been closed for 4 days, but suggested another selection. In the end, appetizer was comped (or left) off the bill.
Ordered wine - 2 different bottles, both different types of reds. Both bottles came to the table subzero in temperature. Restaurants need to keep their wine at reasonable serving temperatures, appropriate for the wine you are serving. The rest of the details are not important, as the temperature issues trumped the other details.
The restaurant, for being very small (10 tables) was freezing in temperature. Even my long-time Seattle friends were freezing, so it wasn't just a SD thing.
Had reservations for 8:15, but were running 30 minutes late. Hostess was not helpful, as we had to ask her for the closest bar or lounge to wait around in, and it wasn't until we asked did she offer a suggestion (the bar/lounge downstairs worked out fine).
I tend to be VERY picky, especially if Im spending money for mid- to high-plate prices. An off-night is not enough of an excuse for restaurants who are trying to establish a footing in any city, Seattle, SD or otherwise. Others in our party enjoyed the meal, and had a nice time.
Good luck to other Chowhouds out there. Hopefully your experience will be up to your standards.