This year my wife and I decided to cut back on Winterlicious - too many caloric opportunities, too little gym time. We selected two places - the Corner House and Centro. The first because its posted menu looked very good and the second because we hadnt eaten there in many years. Our experience follows.
We arrived at the Corner House a bit early for our 7:30 reservation for four people and waited with about 4 other parties in the doorway and on the steps. As there is no waiting area at all in the restaurant and the place is tight for space because of Winterlicious, this was inconvenient for both patrons and staff, but people were pretty nice about it. In all we waited about 20 minutes to be seated.
We ate downstairs in a room that felt crowded. Our server was very friendly and efficient, especially in light of how busy she was. Now for the important part: the food was really good. Everyone liked everything they ate. I had the crab cake, which was pretty crabby and had lots of flavour. This was followed by a lamb curry that featured melt-in-your mouth lamb. It was not a traditional curry, but it was very tasty. For dessert, I had maple crème brulee which had a nice texture and not too much maple. We drank two bottles of Crane Zinfandel from Sonoma County. We had a good time and all agreed that we would consider the restaurant in future dining plans based on the quality of the food and the fact that it was unlikely to be so crowded at non-Winterlicious times.
Centro was almost the opposite of the Corner House. The room was lovely and our table spacious. We did not wait an instant. The service was excellent, but lacked the warmth of the Corner House. Unfortunately, the food wasnt very good. For starters, I had a risotto, which was gummy and had too much pepper. Luckily the portion was small. One of our friends had the cured salmon, which I tasted and liked. The main course pork tenderloin was dry and the sauce lacked intensity of flavour. The mashed potatoes were good. Again the portion was small. My wife had the cod and in her case the portion was very large, but the fish was just ok - not particularly tasty. Her fried potatoes were very good. I had a pecan tart for dessert, which was very rich, but again just ok. I brought a bottle of very tasty Pinot Noir and paid the $35 corkage. The sommelier handled the wine service nicely. My wife and I agreed that we would be unlikely to return given the quality of the food.