Food Travel

Eclipse – My Most Conflicted Meal

Amazing food can make up for bad service.  I can think of some Asian restaurants in my city for example.  However, can amazing service make up for ok food?  That is the conflict I faced with this meal.  The service was 11 out of 10.  The chef came out multiple times to check in on the meal.  The gentleman serving us was amazing.  The restaurant is new, and they were clearly trying very hard, and cared about what they were putting out.  However, in the end, taste is so important and is a huge part of the experience.

We had lunch here and went for the Quintessence tasting menu which consisted of 6 courses.

A breadstick to start:

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Followed by pureed broccoli.  The presentation was beautiful, but pureed broccoli is not a technically difficult dish to execute.  The first few dishes in a tasting menu set the tone for the rest of the meal, and I was not blown away by this dish.

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The next dish was the foie gras which our server mentioned the chef was famous for, and which he described as “mindblowing” (or something along those lines).  While it was good, it was not different from any other foie gras I have had.  It was served with brioche.

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The next dish was butternut squash prepared a few ways.  Presentation was beautiful though a bit TOO much, but again, the dish did not blow me away.  Just like the broccoli, it was not a technically difficult dish.  The butternut in the center seemed as if it was just shaved and arrange in the center.  It was not transformed or elevated in anyway.  I felt like I was eating raw butternut the whole time.

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Next, scallops.  These were ok, but I felt that they could of used more sear.

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Palate cleanser:

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The main dessert was pineapple and vanilla bourbon on the side.  The dessert was pretty good and the presentation was good, but throughout the meal, I felt like it was a bit too much use of the flowers and the sticks coming out of dishes.

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The meal finished with some petite fours.  Nice presentation, other than the flowers again.    The actual individual bites were not that good.  The cookie on the bottom was used for all the pieces, and it had a dense texture and not that much flavor.  The toppings were not that much better.

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Overall, the service was SPECTACULAR.  Hospitality was great and the dining room was lovely.  Their philosophy of cooking from scratch is spot on.  The presentation is good but could be toned down and refined a bit.  Where things can be improved is the food.  Its not bad, but not mind blowing.  The dishes were not technically difficult to execute.  For the price point, and given everything else, the food needs to match.  The chef has a strong background so there is big potential.  Given all the positives, I would probably monitor the menu and return down the road to see if anything has changed.  At that time, maybe the food will of caught up with the rest of the offering.

 

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