Beaumarchais. I’m not sure where to start. The food and cocktails were good yet overpriced, which was a clear reflection of the crowd. Go to Beaumarchais to people watch, see people, and be seen. It was a mixed crowd mostly with tables of solely men or solely women popping magnum bottles of Veuve Cliquot. Everyone seemed to be significantly older, around 35-45, but dressed to impress. I’m always a little confused by this loud music brunch scene where people dress up. Did you not have a good enough time the night before? If I’m going to drop $50 on pancakes and a drink, I’d personally rather being doing it at a homey foodie brunch place to unwind from the night before’s excitement.
While I can say we did feel fabulous and the music was great, it also felt like the place we would hope to go to have brunch when we are in our 40s, have too much money, are trying to escape our husbands, and are dying to be young again. (friends, +15 years consider it a date!)
I ordered the Croque Madame, a modest open faced sandwich with salad on the side. It had a nice truffle flavor and good cheese, but didn’t really blow my mind. It sort of reminds me of what I eat for breakfast everyday at home so I was left wanting something more.
Oh, and that sundae with less than perfect marshmallows that everyone (including us) was ordering just really confused me…and made me feel very very silly. If the ice cream, marshmallows and whipped cream were homemade I’d have less of a problem and would maybe even pay more considering it was a dessert to share…but no, it was all grocery store quality and the ice cream wasn’t that great. Hurray food-markups just for a pish-posh atmosphere! Yes I love food, but I have to at least have the illusion that I can not get the exact same thing elsewhere for dirt cheap. Well, okay maybe the sparkler that came on top helped a little…ok, no.
The final word? Go for the pish-posh party atmosphere if your pockets allow for it, but don’t expect mind blowing food.
Because of my internship and boyfriend’s interest in food shows, I’ve become a bit more well versed on what is going on in the food world. I’ll be honest that I didn’t really know who David Burke was, and only knew that he was a chef that may or may not have been on a TV show…Top Chef Masters? I don’t know. After eating at Fishtail I’m not really sure anymore if I really need to know who David Burke is.
This was the first time at any of his restaurants, and I was definitely excited. I immediately fell in love with the decor, with its fresh red paint and great clean cream look to it, but then the food came.
The Dreadful Shellfish Tower
While I don’t have very serious allergies to shellfish, I’m a bit sensitive when it’s not-so-fresh. Kevin and I ordered the shellfish tower for 2/3 for $35. It came with 1/2 lobster, 3 shrimp, 3 oysters, 3 clams, mussels and seafood salad ceviche. So yeah, this was probably the worst part of my meal. The shrimps had that pasty MUSHY, NOT FIRM texture (an allergic girl’s nightmare), the mussels were overcooked, boring and unappetizing–a waste of mussels if you ask me, the oysters were not detached from their shells, and well–I never like clams so you’ll have to ask Kevin about them. WAIT! The lobster was decent.
Anyway, on to the actual Restaurant Week menu.
Appetizer – Taco Sampler
I had the Fishtail Taco Sampler which included crab salad, tuna tartare and salmon tartare. I didn’t think it was spectacular in any way other than its presentation (apologies for the lack of a better picture, its hard to capture it in a dark restaurant without busting out an obnoxious flash). The inner Asian in me appreciated how cute it was, but I definitely wouldn’t suggest this for date food because it was impossible not to make a mess (I guess this goes for any crunchy tacos). This was probably the saddest use of tartare that I’ve seen unfortunately, but hey I love my raw fish so it was still satisfying. Some last words about these sad tacos–I can buy a better seasoned crab salad at Costco…or eat a great salmon tartare made by my uncle from a whole salmon…just saying.
Appetizer – Sushi…WHAT?
Firstly, never order sushi unless you are at a sushi restaurant. For some crazy reason Kevin decided to go against the rules (that’s right…underrrr the bus :-)) and got this sushi roll that i deemed inedible. But seriously, it’s not Kevin’s fault for giving David Burke’s signature Pastrami Salmon a shot!!! Also not his fault for thinking that a “top” seafood restaurant should be able to produce a good sushi roll.
It had cream cheese, “pastrami” salmon aka salmon with pastrami seasoning, the WORST cooked rice ever, and soggy seaweed. My sushi is better. This is NOT how you make sushi! It’s not a matter of contemporary cooking–this didn’t taste good, and the textures were all wrong in a mush way. Also, when the cream cheese is as massive if not bigger than your portion of salmon, you’d think that it would say cream cheese on the menu…or maybe that’s just me…
Entree – Swordfish Steak Frites
The swordfish was nicely grilled, but I wish somehow the outside would stay moist on this great piece of fish. It came with these delicious fries (best part of my whole meal) that had been fried with parsley! But wait…I’m confused… what was that stuff on the bottom of my place that kind of resembles sauce but was solidified on the outside as if it had been sitting under a heatlamp for twenty minutes? Oh. It was “David Burke’s signature steak sauce”. WHY? Why mess up something so simple?
There’s always a lot of talk about restaurant week bringing out the worst in restaurants, and I’m pretty sure this may have been Fishtail at its worst–otherwise how could David Burke maintain his reputation and build his mini-empire?
I don’t have many comments on dessert–it was ordinary. I got the chocolate tarte and it was okay…
(Yes, this post was bitter. I wasted a perfectly good restaurant week meal on Fishtail, where obviously I cared more about the food quality than they did.)