Massachusetts Restaurant Reviews
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Rating: 4 / 5
I am a HUGE fan of the wines of Sonoma County, California. So when I had a chance, I put together a meeting with four other friends for a way to review the restaurant and sample their wine list.
It's located in a strip mall, which is sort of strange for a restaurant that charges $35 for a dinner plate. The inside was nicely decorated, with lovely paintings on the walls and sort of a jazzy-feel elegance to it. This wasn't "old world heavy wood" nor "modern glass-and-steel". It was a middle level of looking nice, but not overwhelmingly so.
I have to say that right off the bad they made a bad impression on us with the menus. Our party had 3 women and 2 men. Obviously this was not a "romantic night out" and at least ONE of the women was paying her own way. The reservation was in fact made by a woman (me). Still, they gave all 3 of us women menus without prices! Since I was putting the bill on MY credit card I found this annoying. If anything, the men found it far MORE annoying because now it put them into the position of the "masters" of us 3 women, and we had to keep borrowing their menus to see the prices. What if I took my dad out here for his dinner birthday? Would HE get the priced menu and I get the one without a price? What if two women came alone? Would they not get prices? It boggles the mind how anyone could think this is an appropriate thing to do.
Several of us are on dietary restrictions so we asked what the side dishes that came with the meals were. The meals all gave the main meat ("veal" or "eggplant" or so on) but did not mention the sides. The waitress unhelpfully said that they changed day to day. Well ... yes ... but what ARE they today then? She didn't know. Apparently she wasn't going to find out either, so we asked only for green veggies. We ordered our meals and two bottles of wine - one with the appetizers, one for dinner.
A note here - yes, the wine list is California based, but very few were actually from Sonoma. We were sort of disappointed by this. It's not unusual any more to find a primarily California-based wine list. But we were hoping to get some treats from the Sonoma region, given the name of the restaurant.
OK on to the food. The appetizers were simply delicious. I had the eggplant and loved it. Others had various other dishes and enjoyed them just as well. The water glasses were refilled frequently which is VERY important to me, especially when I'm drinking. So that was great. The main dishes were also quite tasty. I don't know if my veal was $35 tasty - it was relatively small in serving size. The sides ended up being squash, potatoes, and risotto. They were tasty too. I certainly am an advocate in general of a meal not being gigantic - you should get enough to eat for the meal, and be satisfied but not stuffed like a pig. Even so, the dinner was a bit on the small size and the price on the high side.
The dessert tray came around, with five or so items on it. We tried two items and found them both to be quite tasty.
In general we loved the food but would not drive back out to Princeton because of the general ... "feeling" we got there. To have us 3 women being treated like second class citizens (when we all make just as much as our guys do and handle the family finances) was really bothering us. Even for a "romantic" meal we would want to know the prices. The waitress wasn't exactly helpful on an issue which was important to us (the side dishes). The prices were much higher than what we'd pay at any number of other local, high class restaurants.
As a final note, they had a comment card and I mentioned the menu issue on it. The owner emailed me and said that as it bothered me, they put my name on a list to "give a menu with prices" if I visited again. This boggles my mind. So now if any other "Lisa" calls them up to make reservations, they would get a menu with prices? Or are they now going to interrogate any female who dines there to ask if they are "Lisa"? It strikes me as a very odd solution. I in fact posed this menu question to the 300+ women I work with at a womens' website. NONE Of them said they would be happy with a priceless menu and some were outraged that this was even going on in current society.
Menu: Few choices but each is tasty, very pricey for what you get
Wine List: extensive California list, only a few from Sonoma
Dress: business dress
Staff: Attentive with the water, not always helpful in other ways
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