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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Restaurant Week Night 2 - Chalk, Covington

I found that in the bathroom at Chalk on Wednesday night - even if it's in the can - it's a good reminder! So yes, we went to Chalk - which used to be one of the Jean Robert brood - and it was "eh, OK". But read the whole thing so you can see why...

First - the menu is different when you get there than it is online at the GCI website that is sponsoring Restaurant Week. When I asked the server, she said their webmaster disappeared and they haven't been able to update it. So it was a bit disappointing right off the bat - the 3 course menu they were offering - no dessert. But we charged on!

COURSE 1
Smoked Salmon over spring greens w/mint

We really chose a balance of all the dishes. The smoked salmon was tasty - portions across the board this evening were small.

Red leaf lettuce, pear, sauteed shallots

This was okay - the portion was small and it really had no dressing. It was fine...nothing outstanding.
COURSE 2
Red snapper, brussel sprout "encrusted"

This was fine...not that much flavor but it was nice. The 2 of us that got this enjoyed the fish but weren't thrilled with the dish. The worst and pretty much unforgivable part of this dish - the wild rice under the fish was uncooked. I mean - CRUNCHY. Wild rice isn't easy to cook - but they should have made an attempt!

Citrus scallops with red cabbage

You seeing a trend? These were fine. There wasn't much citrus flavor - one of the two said their scallops were overcooked.

Skatefish with parsnip puree & popcorn

This dish was my favorite of the 3 - the puree was very creamy. I wasn't a fan of the popcorn - it was stale. Co-diner liked the unique texture of the popcorn.

COURSE 3
Pork Shoulder

You guessed it - it was "OK". I tasted - there just wasn't much flavor. After tasting both of the 3rd courses - I wished I'd tried the vegetarian option of mushroom ravioli.

"Strip Steak" with fresh chips

This was billed as a "strip steak" - does that look like a steak? In reality - it was strips of steak like an egg roll cover. The strips were wrapped around vegetables and served with fresh chips. After the initial shock of the fact that this wasn't a steak - I actually kind of liked the dish. It did have a nice rich flavor and the edges of the "meat rolls" were crispy and flavorful - but it was a bit carrot-heavy.

So there you have it - 3 courses of "meh - it was ok". I mean the butter served with the warm bread was the highlight for one diner! Also - it was SLOW!!! It took 2 hours and 45 minutes for our party of 6. It was nearly an hour between courses 1 & 2!

Well - when the maitre'd came over and asked "How was everything tonight?" and looked right at me - I was honest. I said - "Meh - it was ok." My table looked shocked - did she just speak the truth???? Well yeah! I wasn't going to lie! He was also a bit flabbergasted.

They made some excuses saying "well it's restaurant week" - but to me - it should be easier! You're busier but you've got a more limited menu for most diners. Perfect those dishes and get them out the door!

So my bout of honesty - well it "paid off". The maitre-d came over and provided us with 3 - $20 gift cards to fight over. Now while the meal was just ok - this was very nice and the entire table appreciated it.

We did have a great time - and trust me - the bathrooms are worth the trip! One of my friends tried to have some fun with me...but I got her back!


Chalk is much like Allure - it's nice - but not amazing. And for that price - I'd rather have Nada or Aqua.

Looking forward to Brown Dog tomorrow night!

Chalk Food + Wine on Urbanspoon
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