In the last month or so, we’ve tried 3 new restaurants (well, new to us). I didn’t bring my camera or take notes, but here are some quick impressions.
Bavarian Chef: We loved this place. Great German food, but with a cheffy flair. Pretty expensive, but good value, because the portions are very large. Excellent service, tasty entrees, nice variety of sides (especially loved the red cabbage). The old train station is elegant, and the vintage German travel posters added a nice touch. The place lacks coziness, and the acoustics are lousy, but no matter. This one goes on the regular rotation.
Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grill: We made the mistake of trying this restaurant on a Saturday night when the Redskins were playing. The place was packed, and we got stuck in the bar where the service was slow. The food was fine, but unless you want to watch sports and drink beer with your buddies, don’t bother. There are many other restaurants with similar food (The Fredericksburg Pub in the same part of the mall, or Ruby Tuesday, Red Robin, Applebees, etc.) but without that wallpapered-in-televisions ambience.
The Melting Pot: We went because we had a coupon (otherwise it can be very expensive), and I was surprised that the place was pretty full—I had no idea it was so popular. The decor is lovely, booths are all mostly very private, and the service was good. We started with a cheese fondue. I used to make cheese fondue regularly, and this one was nothing special. Then we got a mixed platter of meats and seafood with a few veggies to be cooked in oil, accompanied by some batters and sauces for dipping. Finally, a very sweet chocolate fondue, into which you dip equally sweet bites of cake and marshmallow, plus a few fruits. The whole concept of a fondue restaurant is interesting and different, and I can see how for a date, it’s a good conversation starter. But for me, the bottom line is that for my entree, they bring me a bunch of raw meat and make me cook it myself. I’m supposed to time it (no timer is supplied), so you’re either looking at your watch or taking your chances. I want a professional to cook my dinner and be creative. If you go, it’s for the experience, not the food. Not my cup of tea.