My friends and I went to Tryst Wednesday night. The space is much pleasanter than in its Tea Tray in the Sky incarnation quite nice, in fact. Our overall verdict, though, was not so good.
Two out of three starters (tuna and salmon tartare and caesar salad) were competent and I would go so far as to say that my tartare was very good indeed. The mixed greens fell victim to the only hazard available to fresh greens they were overdressed and accompanied by bread sticks too hard to eat.
The mains left us unenthusiastic. My duck breast was rare but sliced quite thick, which in my opinion makes it much tougher than it should be, and the fat under the skin had not rendered out quite as much as it should. The accompanying duck confit ravioli were tasty but not cooked quite enough so that the edges were quite chewy. My friends scallops were fine, the accompanying mushroom risotto overly salted and peppered. Nothing bad enough to send back and we did finish more or less everything but nothing to write home about either, and as very competent home cooks, we felt that we could have made every part of the main dishes better ourselves not what I want to feel at $25+ per.
Desserts the panna cotta was fine, the lemon coconut tart was reported as having a delicious filling and a nearly inedible tough and chewy crust the friend who had it claims to be a baker and diagnosed wildly over-worked pastry, resulting in excessive gluten development.
The service, while pleasant, was amateur and unpolished in the extreme not close to the same league as that we had at Za recently for a dinner that cost maybe 1/3 as much. I might go back for a drink and tartare at the bar sometime (full liquor license) but very much doubt I would bother to have a full dinner again too many other options at or below the price point.
Tryst, Mass Ave, Arlington Center