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!

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.
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.

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


  1. that's too bad. i went to chalk (granted, not as a part of restaurant week) and really enjoyed it. however, it's not like restaurant week was a surprise. they could have anticipated and planned.

    at least you got some gift cards.

  2. Sorry to hear your food wasn't better. It surely seems that during restaurant week the participating restaurants would be "pulling out the stops" to guarantee a good experience. This is a chance to win over some diners and get some positive word of mouth. This is very similar to the real estate "open house" - you know people are coming, so make it as good an experience as possible.

  3. I haven't been there for awhile but the night we went everything was incredible, the service, food, everything.
    One thing did disappoint me, the walls in the can were completely covered with chalk and I couldn't write anything. Anything that would stand out at least, chalk on top of chalk doesn't work very good.

  4. If I'd read this yesterday I'd have known you were going to Brown Dog last night! That was so funny that we ended up next to you guys. Now if I could make myself write about it... I've been bad lately but I need to get it together so we can compare!