We ate at the Water Grill last night for a belated anniversary celebration. The executive chef has gone off to open "Providence" (the cuisine of Rhode Island?) in the old Patina Melrose place. The waiter told us that the replacement hadn't been named yet. The place was full so I guess the crowd was confident that the kitchen staff was well trained. This wasn't the finest meal we've ever had at the Water Grill, but I wouldn't sound the death knell either. My husband really prefers beer to wine. The Water Grill (I know, I know, it's a WINE destination) only has two beers on tap. He ordered a Scrimshaw Pilsner which was terribly flat and he sent it back. It was replaced with the other tap beer--a Firestone Ale which he said was just mediocre. I had Schramsberg Blanc de Noir which was neither flat nor mediocre.
The bread is not heated and while not of a poor quality, somewhat boring--a choice of french bread slices, seeded or sour dough rolls.
For starters, himself had the salmon napolean which was salmon wrapped around potato cubes and topped with caviar. The salmon and caviar were excellent quality--very tasty but the potatoes were undercooked. Ick. I ordered the Foie Gras Au Torchon which nearly led me to create a scene like Meg Ryan's in When Harry Met Sally. Wowie. It was fabulous. It was served in two large round slices--like sausage, with toast points. Husband won't touch foie gras so I had it to myself, and honestly--it was just too much. This is a starter that should really be shared by two or more people. For the main, we ordered, just because we'd never seen it on a menu before, a Halibut T-Bone for two. This involved a lovely plating ceremony and was served with good roasted asparagus, roasted fingerling potatoes which could have used a bit more fresh herb or flavoring of some sort, and some morels which were lemon juiced too heavily, disguising that earthy mushroom flavor.
The halibut itself was served with a thyme and caper sauce. It was an enormous piece of fish--even split, it was far and away the largest piece of seafood I've ever been served at the WG. Sadly, I found the fish a bit dry and the accompanying sauce a bit greasy.
Desserts were strong as always, I had a strawberry shortcake with buttermilk custard which was very nice, especially with a lovely Firestone dessert wine. My husband had a delicious chocolate brioche bread pudding and some gorgeous Blandy's 15 Madeira.
The service was impeccable. The room was never the most gorgeous dining room in town but now is really starting to look tired and reminiscent of an airline lounge. The restaurant has long been one of my very favorite in town, and I'm hoping its corporate entity will take this personnel change as an opportunity to rise like a phoenix.