Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Good, but Just Not Good Enough

Tonight Chef and I had our Valentine's Day. And how best to celebrate than to do what we love: eat steak. But instead of hitting our usual Ruth's Chris, we decided to hit a place called Maestro's in Beverly Hills. It's gotten great reviews, so we decided to give it a whirl.

I knew we were in trouble when we sat down. The first thing was that our table was smooshed in the middle of the dining room and tiny. The back of a large Asian lady was touching our table. The second thing that happened was that our waitress asked "Are you even 21?" when Chef (and later I) ordered a drink. Normally, I'd be flattered about this but when you're in an expensive restaurant, the last thing you want to be labelled as is an underage couple going out to dinner. It's assumed that you don't have money and haven't eaten by yourself in a nice restaurant.

Calories were of no matter to me tonight. So we had two appetizers- crab cakes and scallops. The crab cakes were okay, but the scallops were delicious. Next was the main course. I had a 12 oz. filet medium, Chef had the18 oz. bone-in filet medium rare. We also had the famous lobster mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts with bacon.

Sounds delicious, right? And it was. But there were little things that just weren't quite right. My steak was medium well on one end and medium rare on the other end. Chef's steak was straight up rare. The brussel sprouts were served without bacon and they were burned. So when we asked for new ones, we got them, but by the time they were cooked again, we were almost done with dinner.

The highlight for me was the warm butter cake. It's Paula Deen's wet dream. It's a yellow cake with a caramelized butter crust and ice cream. It's also got fresh cream that was delicious. Seriously the butter cake was the best part of the meal, but I was so full that I only had about 1/3 or less of it. It was a shame to leave so much on my plate, but I'm sure my waistline will thank me.

After dinner, we waded back through the crowded (too crowded for my taste and especially for a Wednesday night) restaurant and bar to get my car from the valet. It took about 20 minutes. TWENTY MINUTES to get our car.

So, nothing that was a tragedy about the experience, but for the price, I want my butt kissed. I want a table where I can actually hear Patrick talk when he speaks to me. I want to not have an Asian lady's back fat dipping into my lobster mashed potatoes. I want there to be enough light that the waitress doesn't need the penlight she's carrying to see that there's no bacon in the brussel sprouts. It was all nice and good food, but it just wasn't nice or good enough. Maybe I'll get some butter cake to go when I get a craving.

Chef's made me a discerning consumer. That's not such a bad thing.

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