Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Note: Ch1ve is now closed.

(From November 1)

Vaguely pretentious, too high-priced (for what you get), and semi-good food. We went for their all-night happy hour, which was mentioned on the website. Unfortunately, when we arrive, the bartender tells us that they recently stopped doing it. Fabulous... then why are you still advertising it?! We decided to stay for dinner.

Their current menu is organized from lighter to heavier dishes, with the focus on small plates and they recommend 3-4 plates minimum. D. thought that was a ludicrous suggestion, as that would have been a rather large amount of food at approximately $40 a person. We went with about 2 each.
Our server talked up the feta fries, so we started with those. I'd have to say they were a disappointment. They were supposed to be tossed with olive oil, garlic, and feta. The dish was topped with a few crumbles of feta and two balls of raw diced garlic. That doesn't really define "tossed". I wouldn't have picked feta for fries because it's a harder cheese that doesn't melt easily. To obtain all of the flavors of the dish, I was pinching bits of feta to the fries as I was eating them. The garlic balls broke into the fries, giving uneven and strong bursts of garlic. Flavor-wise, it wasn't a bad idea, but it didn't execute well.

My lobster sliders were incredible. I'd say it was the best dish of the night. The "patty" was a cake of big chunks of lobster, bits of tree ear mushroom, corn, and a yuzu marinade. The yuzu was perfect, giving a slight tang to the other flavors. The cake was topped with seaweed salad, sandwiched between two fresh sesame buns, and served with sriracha aioli on the side. I paired it with the crispy marbled potato, which weren't crispy, but delicious. Tender baby potatoes served with caramelized red onions and a pommery mustard aioli. Simple dish, but well done.

D. ordered the crab mac 'n' cheese and here's his take on it: "It's Annie's with crab and Annie's might actually be better." The execution of the dish was sloppy. The crab was flavorless and not at all fresh. Mac 'n' cheese should have some heft to it, but the sauce was literally watery. We couldn't taste the cheese and there were too many peas for the small portion.

T. ordered the fresh vegetable dish, which rotates nightly. This time, the veggie was a bell pepper stuffed with ratatouille, then battered with panko crumbs and fried. He said it was good, but not remarkable.
M. ordered dessert, the bittersweet chocolate napoleon. It was layers of chocolate feuilletine and dollops of chocolate and white chocolate mousse. It was served with a rich peanut butter ice cream. Our server mentioned that the ice cream *had* to be eaten in the same bite with the napoleon for the dessert to taste really good. M. found that to be true, but she said it was a little odd because, individually, the napoleon and ice cream weren't that special.

The drinks (we all had martinis) were great. I would go back to sample some of their other dishes or have more of those sliders, but this night, it was a bit underwhelming.

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