Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Grove Downtown - Restaurant Review

We headed to The Grove downtown for dinner with my mom and my sister (with her hubby and kids). I reserved a table outside because I thought the kids might enjoy being outdoors more than being inside.

When hubby and I arrived, we were shown to our patio table and the air smelled like rotting fish. I didn't want to sit outside, but we thought we'd let my sister decide since she had the kids with her. I've sat outside on the patio before and have never experienced this unpleasant odor, so I'm sure it was an anomaly, but it didn't make it any easier to take. When my sister arrived, it didn't smell so bad so we decided to remain outdoors.

The first thing we did was order the Pasta with Tomato Sauce and Meatball ($6) from the children's menu for my nephew so that his food could come out first - he gets rowdy if he has to wait too long for his food. When the pasta came, there were five orders of it, none of which had meatballs. We told the waiter delivering the food (not the waiter who took our order) that there must be some mistake. Instead of leaving us with one of the pastas and going back for a meatball, he took all of the dishes back inside, and about 10 minutes later appeared with a pasta dish with one meatball. My nephew enjoyed it and ate most of it.

We ordered the Grove Sampler (roasted red pepper hummus, edamame hummus, eggplant caponata on top of olive tapenade; served with cucumber, carrots, grilled pita - $11), which was good. It was weird to have the eggplant on top of the tapenade - I would have rather had them separate. The edamame hummus was too salty for me. We had to ask for extra pita to finish the spreads.

I ordered a glass of Gérard Bertrand Crémant de Limoux Rosé 2013, Languedoc, France ($9.50). I've had this wine before and ordered it because it's light and crisp with just enough bubbles. I'm really enjoying sparkling rosés from this producer - just lovely!

I ordered a starter for my meal - Texas Redfish Ceviche (with peppers, onions, cilantro, avocado, cucumbers, citrus, lime-sea salt,corn chips - $14). It was extremely fresh, light, and tasty - exactly what I wanted.

Hubby ordered the Spicy Ginger Rice Noodles (with snap peas, carrots, bean sprout, shiitake, cilantro, chiles, peanuts, and added chicken - $18). It was much spicier than he had expected - a little too hot even though he likes spicy food. I tried it and it didn't seem overly-spicy, but there was enough heat that it was difficult to taste the many flavors in the dish.

Mom ordered the Miso Salmon Salad (seared salmon, mixed greens, haricot verts, cucumber, carrot, bell pepper, and panko-crusted onion rings in a miso-honey vinaigrette - $16). She really enjoyed her salad, and had about half the salmon left to take home.

My sister ordered the Ahi Poke Tuna ($15) but ended up with the Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna (with marinated cucumber and cabbage slaw, ponzu sauce, wasabi aioli - $14). She enjoyed her dish but it wasn't what she had originally ordered so she was slightly disappointed. However, it took so long to get our food and she was so hungry that she ate the dish because it was close enough to what she ordered.

My brother-in-law ordered the Kobe Burger ($13) which he really enjoyed. It came with a ton of homemade potato chips that we couldn't finish (even though we tried!).

In all, our bill came out to around $130 for 3 small plates, 3 entree-sized plates, a child's plate, 3 glasses of wine, and a diet coke. Service was friendly but inconsistent.

I would come back to The Grove, although I'll sit inside next time because it's not so crowded and I've always had good, consistent service indoors.

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