Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Boardwalk Bar & Grill

There was a lot of hot air when the Boardwalk opened last autumn. When ever you open the local paper there is the one or other 'celeb' event on so I wasn't too keen of going there and have it avoided since it opened. Have also heard very mixed reviews of the place - with no one really raving about it. Comments went from 'okay' to 'nothing to write home about'.

So when I met Caz and Jan on Saturday and they were planning to go there, I simply invited myself along. We had a stroll through the market, had a look to see how the Ocean to City race was going and listened to the girl singing in the bar of the Boardwalk. Its doors were opened to the street and since the day was gorgeous and sunny, you had the feeling of Parisian cheaque and we were in a really good mood.

Meeting the waitress or front of house (a lot of people working in the Boardwalk wearing badges with Supervisor on it rather than the name) told us that the restaurant was fully booked out (normally a good sign) but that she could seat us in the back of the bar and would make sure that we were able to order from the restaurant menu. Caz was asking what beer they had and was told, 'tell me what you like and I tell you if we have it' - didn't work that well (it would have been easier to tell her simply what they had). Anyhow, I asked for a Prosecco (after all it was a sunny summer day and it was screaming for something bubbly) and was told that I might be happier with a small bottle of Piper Heidsieck (which of course I was). The bottle came lovely chilled but the waitress wasn't sure if she should open the bottle for me or not. She settled on opening it but I poured it myself. Caz went for water - she really is a cheap date :-). After a while she got up and got the bottle Paulaner herself as there was no sign of it and Jan looked a bit dried up.

We had to wait a while until a waiter finally came with the menus which were framed in a wooden frame (no chance to sneak one out I'd say - my nan used to do that actually :-) but this also means that the menu doesn't change apart from the specials (which in our case were taken from the menu). The menu is short and includes a few mixed starters with focus on seafood. I was just wondering about the 'Boardwalk's Own Classic Caesar Salad (is it classic or is it Boardwalks own creation...hmmm didn't go for it tho).

Jan and Caz shared a starter portion of Risotto with wild mushrooms and green asparagus tips and truffle oil while I ordered Mozzarella salad which was a small enough portion decorated with lots of salad on top (that way it was hiding that I had 2 slices of tomato and a few slivers of mozzarella). It came with basil oil and a balsamic reduction which was excellent.

We had to wait quite a while for the starter plates to be removed and I am not kidding when I say that we waited almost 40 minutes for the mains to arrive. Since Caz and Jan are very entertaining companions, we were okay.

Caz has been there before and had the Filo parcel with mixed vegetables and spinach which was served with a lentil sauce. The sauce was lovely spiced but the parcel itself was bland and the vegetables were overcooked. She said that it was better last time she was there.

Jan had ordered halibut which came with separate portions of swede puree and mixed vegetables. The fish was overcooked and therefore dry. The swede puree was extremely sweet and needed salt. The garlic butter who accompanied the fish was halfway melted and disgusting.

I love risotto and ordered the same dish as Caz had as a starter but as a main. The portion was slightly bigger and totally overcooked. I personally like wild mushrooms but don't like big chunks of them in the risotto. The asparagus wasn't the freshest - I am not implying that it came from a tin but I wouldn't be surprised - it was too soft and the risotto itself was totally overcooked and was in urgent need of some seasoning.

The dessert menu was on a different wooden frame and included old favourites like Banoffi Pie (I always try the Banoffi Pie as I am on the lookout for the best - haven't found it yet) which came in a ramekin dish, unsweetened cream on top (nicely piped) and then the funniest thing, crumbled biscuits followed underneath and the caramel and bananas were on the bottom. Someone please tell the chef that the biscuit base has to be bound with melted butter and pressed on the bottom followed by the bananas and caramel and then the cream. The crumble was very unpleasant but the flavour of the caramel was good. Jan had to finish it.

Caz went for selection of sorbet....blackberry sorbet was dense and tart, lemon sorbet was excellent but I wasn't too keen on the vanilla sorbet. Jan ordered a 10 year old Powers but had to 'settle' for a 12 year old Jameson.

The waiter, Nicolas, was bringing us the bill which was mixed up with another table so we had to explain which dishes we had. Nicolas was professional enough to talk to his floor manager who came to our table, apologising about the mixup with the bill and the long waiting times. We congratulated him on Nicolas and took his offer for a free drink.

The evening was lovely but that was down to the company rather than the eating experience.

The bar was busy - and I mean very busy - while our part where we were sitting was still closed for the public. That might explain the delay - saying that, the waiter knew where we were.

As I said, the reviews were very mixed - apparently, if you go for the steak you are in for a treat. Just stay away from the fish and risotto. Will I go again????? Nope. But I might have a drink in the bar but I doubt it.

Total bill came to €99.05 for 3.


Kevin said...

Hi Elke,

Not really surprised by your review of the Boardwalk , went there back in Feb and like yourself will not be back.
They seem to manage to overcook everything, we had three steaks and one fish all of them overcooked, with no-one checking back on the progress of our mains. I have also heard from other people that their steaks had been overcooked aswell, not very promising for a steakhouse.
The only things I enjoyed were the chips and the bottle of Pol Roger.

Regarding service our waitress was very nice but it seems there is no proper structure for order of service in place.

Elke said...

Hi Kevin,

Know what you mean. The staff are friendly and are trying their best but no one seems to be in charge (we had 2 people with badges that said 'Supervisor' - was wondering if this was the name of the waiter :-)

It seems that the name behind this venture seems to be enough to pull in as it can't be the food. Just such a pity.

They have a Teriyaki Bar there but guess what, they are actually offering Teriyaki sandwiches....someone really needs to tell them how it is done. And they really have to change their chef