Along with my partner and a friend, we started with a drink at the Red Fez, and then walked over for our 5:30 reservations at Union (the only time other than 9pm that they said they could fit us in). When we got there exactly at 5:30, there were only a few people sitting down at the bar. A somewhat snooty (he didn't smile once) host took us to the back corner of the room, where we sat for almost the entire first half hour as one of only two tables filled in the whole place. Unfortunately, they were still setting up and a few items were hastily placed onto our table by a somewhat apologetic looking staffer.
We ordered cocktails and began perusing our menu's when suddenly two of the staff came over, disassembled the set up and table next to us, and carried it out replacing it a few minutes later with another. Presumably it was wobbly or something and needed to be replaced, but combined with the room being mostly empty and our table not being fully ready, all three of us felt a little uncomfortable. Fortunately, or cocktails arrived quickly and we ordered.
We started with several appetizers - BBQ Beef Shortrib with Honey-Roasted Root Vegetables and Celery Slaw. Wonderful! Also, Salmon Carpaccio, which was very nice, fresh and light.
For an entrée, my partner and I both ordered the Roasted Chicken Breast and Confit Leg with Andouille Cornbread Stuffing, Braised Greens, Grilled Onions. Our fiend ordered the Rack of lamb with Jerusalem Artichoke Gratin, Tuscan Kale and Mission Fig Glaze. The chicken was moist and flavorful, and the Anduouille Cornbread stuffing was absolutely delicious. I wasnt a big fan of the braised greens, but thats probably just a matter of personal taste (there was nothing wrong with the preparation). The Rack of Lamb was perfectly prepared, the fig glaze adding just the right amount of sweetness to compliment the meat, the kale was delicious. However, the artichoke gratin was sadly seemingly bereft of any artichoke jeruselem or otherwise. It seemed rather one's (albeit - a well prepared ) standard scalloped potato gratin. At $37 though, we felt that the lamb dish lacked the inspiration to warrant the exorbitant cost. Overall though, we felt that all the dishes were well done, nicely presented, and generously portioned
Our waiter seemed a bit new, or perhaps just not into the groove yet for the night. Everything was delivered quickly and efficiently, but he didnt seem very enthusiastic and had a few moments of (almost bordering on) rudeness. He was helpful in picking out a wine to share with our meal though.
I don't think we were served well by having to agree to 5:30 dinner reservations. Next time, I'll remember that although they are technically open, they really aren't ready to make it a comfortable experience for customers until at least the 6:30. By the time we left the place was full and everything seemed to be bustling efficiently.
We'll try Union again some time - it might be fun to just try eating at the bar. They have a yummy sounding burger on the menu that I'd like to try.
Afterwards we stopped at Café Umbra a few doors down for cocktails. Joe, the bartender there, is friendly, classy and always very welcoming. They have a new bar menu that I think I'd like to check out. We've always been happy at Umbra and I recommend it if you have never tried it.
From there, our evening went into the gutter with a stop at the Eagle for 3 or 4 - but that's another story!