Our non-excellent adventure in dining last Wednesday.
Started out excited about Bosphorous. Except for the few outside tables that were full, the restaurant was quite empty at dinner. Sat inside, and waited, and waited, and waited. The only other occupied table, which was a group of four seated after we were, were on their apps by the time we walked out. Alot of waitstaff just hanging around, and when we heard an argument on who had table 11, I knew it was not meant to be. I was looking forward to a bottle of Yakut, the Turkish wine, and the menu looked great, yet I don't expect a restaurant that is that confused when empty to last very long.
Luma - walked there next. Despite an outward pretention of being trendy, they are incredibly friendly and accomodating. Except. They were busy (see above), and the only table was next to a couple that ordered something that stank. I mean stank. Even the hostess said it stank. Promising another table in 15 minutes, we walked across the street to Park Plaza Gardens.
The restaurant in back was empty. I mean not a single occupied table. Despite this, they refused to let us order apps off the bar menu, and entrees off the restaurant menu. You guessed it. Went to Wazzabi.
Wazzabi. Very accomodating, to the point they asked if we would wait several minutes for a good table (window) or sit in the center of the room. We waited a few short minutes, were served ice green tea almost immediately, waiter was over a few short minutes later. In other words, they showed up. I liked the energy and decor. Found the food to be amateurish. We started with the Japanese pea soup (forgot name!), which was textured perfectly, with a perfect toasted scallop in the middle. Yum. Shared one of the sushi samplers, and the Buddha Roll. The sampler was extremely basic, almost crude, and the Buddha Roll was bulky. The best I can say is the food had no elegance. It was trying to be delicate Japanese sushi served as Florida size portions. The sake list was not built to go with the food they offered. And yes, the wazzabi itself was actually quite decent, as was the house soy (eel) sauce.
Next day lunch...
Was hoping either Bosphorour or PPG would be different, yet stumbled upon Cafe de France.
Cafe de France. Sat outside... white tableclothes, real china, and a waiter that was instantly present (how unFrench). Shared the pate de jour.. was beyond perfect. It was a creamy chicken pate, not 'country style', with perfect gell, and perfect toast. Yum. We had the grilled chicken salad, and I had the duo of fish, which were two small medallions of salmon, and 2 of another white fish (forget again), served on a pickled onion salad. Washed down with 2 glasses of syrah. But... the bread. You can tell a lot about a restaurant by its details, like the bread. Did I say the bread. Incredibly golden brown crust, soft centered... it almost melted in the mouth. And a nice sweet butter. We actually asked for some bread when we left. I would have stolen it other wise.
Yep... I'm a bit of a P.I.T.A.... If I'm going to plop down a few hundred dollars for dinner and wine, when I sit down I expect some recognition that I am there (Bosphorous), on an empty night I expect some creativity and willingness (PPG), and on a busy night I expect efficiency (Luma- I will return).