Sunday, March 03, 2013

Oakleaf Restaurant, Pittsboro

This restaurant had gotten a lot of good press, so we went. And it was, indeed a beautiful room and an excellent place to go, and we'll happily go back.

And the food was good. And yet, it wasn't all that, and this is a problem we keep having.  We spent $130 on dinner, but couldn't help walking away feeling that more of our dining dollar had been spent on adjectives, less on nouns, and even with the adjectives they fell down a little.

Take, for instance, my entree.  I got bass with potatoes cooked in duck fat.  You know I was psyched for those spuds. However, while it was apparent they had been cooked in some kind of fat, it wasn't all that special. They weren't particularly crispy or anything, and they needed a fair amount of salt. And the fish was, indeed, a nice and handsome piece of fish, but it had essentially no sauce.  I had to ask for lemon to spruce it up.  I don't know if the sous chef in charge of modifiers just got tired on this one, but why not a little garlic with some berries and some oil or something to spruce it up? It's a $23 dish, you can spare em.

Don't get me wrong, we may go back, so charming a jernt it was, but it won't be tomorrow. Restaurants like this, more and more, seem calculated to assuage the diner and convey to him membership in the ruling class, more than to deliver really great eating experiences.

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