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Paul T Carney

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Surprising Experience at 1860 Bistro

by Paul T Carney » Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:07 pm

I don't post often, and I don't like the rare post to be all negative, but I wanted to share my experience at 1860 Bistro, both to get your perspective and to register my surprise.
My wife and I have dined their several times, and while their have been some really dazzling dishes, things never seemed to go beyond pretty good. Great cocktails, fantastic wine selection, interesting approaches to the food, but the overall experience, especially service and atmosphere, always came up a little flat, especially for the price points.
Last night, though, there wasn't much to enjoy beyond our drinks. No host to greet us, a waiter stopped mid-delivery of a dessert to check our reservation and take us to our table. We were initially seated next to a noisy big table in the otherwise empty inside dining area, moved when requested.

While there were plenty of people working, the gaps between seating, water, drink orders, specials, etc. were really long. We were visited by a couple of waiters before one actually claimed our table.
Now, while it's true that they tell you, on the menu, to be patient in waiting for food, it was 45 minutes by the time our first dish, geoduck carpaccio, arrived. Never had geoduck before, always curious. Really, really chewy, generically mollusk-y, and over-black-peppered, swimming in an olive oil that didn't match with the mollusk flavor . Ok.
Next dishes were the endive salad and the duck confit strudel (which I'd had before, and was a substitute because they had just run out of the foie gras). The salad was ok, and the strudel was diminished by the chewy and hard to manage half cooked leek straw on top.
Not feeling optimistic, but ready to see it through, our rack of lamb and sous vide short rib, with a brussel sprout side, arrived. Lamb was excellent, though it's reduction was a little burned. As compared to the very burned brussel sprouts. And while the sous vide rib was tender, it was charcoal blackened along an edge, giving an off flavor.
At this point, a couple of hours in, we were tired and wanted to go home, and just didn't feel like complaining to anyone, especially after we'd seen the chef hanging out in the bar on his smart phone while our dishes were being prepared. He made a cursory pass of our table, mumbling "hope everything was good" as we were getting ready to leave, and literally turned away before I could really respond.
So, every place has a bad night. And maybe we should have given up sooner, or complained about the dishes on the spot. I was just so put off by the energy of the place that I couldn't pull myself out of the momentum toward finishing and leaving. It was weird.
Robin and forum, sorry to be such a downer. Especially about a place that seems to be so loved. Was this just a wild anomaly? It I could have fought my torpor, how should I have handled it?
Baffled...
Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.
– Terry Pratchett
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Robin Garr

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Re: Surprising Experience at 1860 Bistro

by Robin Garr » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:05 pm

Paul T Carney wrote:Robin and forum, sorry to be such a downer. Especially about a place that seems to be so loved. Was this just a wild anomaly? It I could have fought my torpor, how should I have handled it?
Baffled...

It's okay, Paul. You did it exactly the right way, going into detail and doing so without anger. I haven't been back to 1860 for a while, and the last time we went I'd say it was very good, maybe not a chart-topper but a good evening. I hope folks with more recent experience can chime in.
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SilvioM

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Re: Surprising Experience at 1860 Bistro

by SilvioM » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:20 am

Never been, but I read early this year that they were getting new ownership. It also appears that their website expired. Might be in transition?

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