Archive for September, 2010

Wheatberry Tavern #3

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

Wheatberry Tavern #3
Re-visit of a previous visit

Good Food : 3/5 | Good Service : 3/5

A Friday night saw us at Wheatberry Tavern again for dinner. Since we have had equal good and bad experiences with our past 2 visits, we decided to try a third round here to balance out our other experiences. Plus there is no other local option for this type of cuisine, unless we drive 30 minutes south each way.

We started out with one of the special appetizer dishes – blue crab stuffed mushrooms. The dish demonstrated good plate presentation with the mushrooms. However, when we actually ate one, these were disappointing. These were essentially small mushrooms stuffed with a crab-flavored mousse filling – if I didn’t see these advertised as blue crab, I would have never known that there were crab pieces in the filling. The mushrooms had a nice grilled smokey flavor but the mousse filling lacked enough crab flavor to offset the heavy mushroom taste.

Since the kitchen had already run out of the Black Jack chicken special by the time we arrived, my husband ordered their dark side burger, one of their staple burger offerings. Very crunchy fries accompanied this dish – the crunch attributed to the potato strips being dipped & fried with a rice flour tempura batter. Superfine coleslaw which was on the sweet side was the chosen side, different from the more neutral coleslaw that we had during our first visit.

I decided to try the special Yellowfin tuna Romesco. This was a definite disappointment – the advertised rosemary flavoring was non-existent. The rare seared tuna loin still had lots of connective tissue in the slices, making the fish tough to chew and not pleasant. The wilted sauteed spinach was heavily over-salted & the white beans were dry and grainy. In addition, my plate was cold when it arrived. After flagging down our waitress, she offered to have the dish re-made as several other diners had also had issues. So I bit and had the kitchen re-make the dish. The tuna returned cooked to a medium this time instead of a medium-rare, which helped break down some of the chewy-ness, but my spinach had no flavoring this time and it was obvious that the kitchen has simply re-sauteed my leftover beans in a frying pan with some fresh butter to get rid of the ‘dry’ texture.

We still like this restaurant, but our track record of having a hit each time we’ve come here points to a lack of consistency. While the chef owners have to be credited with trying to create a dining establishment which helps bring fresh seasonal cooking to this area, their lack of quality control bespeaks of a disconnect from the daily runnings now that the restaurant has been in business for several years.