I've debated writing this post.
There are reasons why I should:
1. Dinner with Anne is always a delight.
2. The dessert was *so* good.
There are reasons why I shouldn't:
1. The service was *so* bad. Atrocious. Frustrating. Terrible.
2. The overall meal was meh. Meh, I tell you. No other words. Just three letters that reflect a sound to summarize our lame disappointment.
3. My pictures suck. Lighting (sigh). Try not to look too hard.
Sooooo, with all that out of the way, let's just boogie on through this until dessert !
Word on the street is Beyonce and her beau, Jay-Z, like to frequent Buttermilk Channel. Maybe when they dine here, they nosh on these house-made pickles served in both spear and sliced form...
...or maybe they like the fresh mozzarella balls, skewered with crusty, oiled bread, laced with tiny anchovies and broiled until golden. These were not bad, but they were not great. They were just alright - punched up by the tiny, salty fish that makes Thanan's heart go pitter-pat.
Pureed cauliflower soup was a promising start to our three-course prix-fixe feast, available on Mondays at Buttermilk Channel for a slim 25 bones. New discovery: crushed pistachios in creamy soup = delightful.
Anne's green apple and arugula salad was more disappointing, the promising charm of grilled blue cheese sandwiches were simply that - toasted bread with grilled cheese inside and nothing more (sometimes the menu does mean what it really says!).
Most tables received freshly baked popovers upon seating. We waited for nearly half an hour before reminding our waitress that we would very much love to enjoy these puffy, airy gems also. Perhaps we had waited too long - the anticipation was too great - and while warm, eggy and indeed fresh, the popovers were merely fine. An extra heavy pour of honey on the plate woulda pushed them over the edge to good, but Anne didn't even feel like finishing hers, so I helped her out (that is what friends are for!).
We ordered the ham wrapped trout, served on a thick bed of grits and roasted radishes. Anne was really loving the flavor of the grits, despite its unbecoming, thick and chunky texture. We both agreed the trout was fishy - the good fishy that true fish lovers enjoy but on-the-fence-loving-fish-people would not particularly appreciate, the overall dish augmented by the salty ham seared within the crispy trout skin.
Our other entree was their popular fried chicken, served atop two cheddar waffles alongside savoy cabbage slaw.
Sinking my knife into the cardboard-textured skin of the chicken elicited immediate feelings of sadness and remorse for ordering this dish. The initial bite, with painful chew through the overly thick, tough exterior, grew even more disappointing in discovering the fairly moist poultry flesh underneath that breaded abomination was bland beyond belief. Just a little bit of salt? Please? Brine it? Dine it? With some soy sauce? Anything. Pretty please. This bird needs a super healthy kick of seasoning up its...yes. Don't even get me started on the cheddar waffles that were sad, stiff little pucks. If you like the texture and flavor of Cheez Nips, then you will like them. Chew carefully.
We laughed at how much the chicken needed salt. (Anne laughed. I cried. When fried chicken goes wrong, it can go so very wrong!)
What was amazing was that the chocolate chip bread pudding was much saltier than the fried chicken plate altogether. Large, coarse flakes of salt were heavily sprinkled on the drizzled chocolate butterscotch sauce. The bread pudding itself was okay. Dense, heavy, unbalanced in sweetness against the salt, I cared very little for this dish.
The knockout star of the whole night was the pecan pie sundae. A miniature version is served with the prix-fixe, but I have half a mind to come back just to eat a full-sized helping of this delicious beaut. Layers of huge, softly-caramelized pecans, velvety vanilla ice cream and lovely whipped cream in a cup. Simple. Savory. Sweet. Great. It was a glorious sundae symphony.
Sometimes the best is saved for last. You should just go on and skip the whole charade of the meal though, and head straight for the sweet goods.
524 Court St