Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Restaurant Review-Mesh

Friday night I was super excited to hang out with a few friends and try out a new restaurant during another round of restuarant week. This time we decided on Mesh in West Chester. I called way in advance to make reservations for 6 people at 7:30 on Friday. The lady that answered the phone politely told me that restaurant week there only goes until 6 on Friday and Saturday, so I said that was fine, even though I knew it could potentially be pushing it for some people.... A couple of days later out of the blue I get a phone call from the same hostess telling me that her manager told her they are going to extend restaurant week to all night even on the weekends, she remembered me and called me to ask me if I wanted to push back my reservation to 7:30... I thought, if this is the kind of service we are going to get while we are there...we are in for a good night. I thought wrong.

The place is neat. It has a swanky bar and a big glass wall where you can see there large collection of wine bottles. We all ordered off the restaurant week menu (which was all stuff also featured on their regular menu) and most of us paid $15 extra to have a wine pairing with each course. We sat around for a decently long time before anyone came to take our order...when she finally did it probably took another 30 minutes to get our first course out...which I would have probably been ok with if we would have had the large basket of bread on our table that every other table seemed to have. We finally stopped a random waitress and asked if maybe we could have some bread....and she brought us out some. Our waitress didnt know this and didn't actually bring our bread out until after our first course was brought out. We were halfway through our first courses when we realized that she hadn't brought out any of our first course wine pairings..

I wanted to wait to actually drink the wine with the food, but also didnt want to sit there and let the soup get cold...we were all just getting pretty aggravated at this point, including Nicole who didn't get her drink order until she was completely finished with her first course.....but let's take a break from the horrible service for a minute and talk about the food.

Truffle Mushroom Bisque-

Tasted mostly like cream with not a lot of mushroom flavor. Also needed salt and pepper...and lots of it.

Mesh House Salad with sun-dried cherries, toasted almonds, feta cheese and a creamy balsamic vinaigrette.
I didnt try this but rumor has it the cherries were good but the lettuce was a little limp...
but not bad for a house salad.

Prosciutto wrapped prawn with grilled vegetables and saffron cream.

Next it was time for dinner. The waiter who was serving us decided to stand to my left, reach over me and serve Katie who was to my right....while proceeding to dump half of her oil based sauce all over my dress. While I am a card carrying member of the clumsy club and usually can forgive this kind of thing... I can't forgive the fact that there was absolutely no reason he should have been reaching over me like that to hand Katie her food in the first place. It was literally ALL over me...including on my dress, arm, leg and in my hair...yum. He apologized profusely and sent out a manager who gave me her card and told me to "feel free to send her my dry cleaning bill." I thought for sure at least I would get a free meal out of this mess...

Now onto the food.

Katie had the vegetarian option which was a red potato stuffed ravioli with spinach and a an emulsion of olive oil and something else...I can't remember.. She thought it was pretty good besides the fact that half the sauce was off her plate and in my hair... Nothing super special, but not bad.

Pan Roasted Chicken Breast- Saltimbocca Style...with crisp prosciutto, potato gnocci, asparagus and parmesan sage cream.

The chicken was dry and it wasn't that hot. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't that good either..

Prime new york strip with whipped potatoes, french greenbeans and blueberry bbq sauce.

I tasted this. It was one of the worst steaks I have ever eaten at any restaurant (including Fridays which everyone knows is disgusting)- it looked like it was cooked to the proper doneness so it must have been the cut of meat that was gross. It was chewy and dried out (even though it was cooked medium)...it was just really horrible. Everyone with steak attempted to saw at them with their butter knives until finally putting them down to wait for steak knives that were yet to come. When someone asked the waitress to bring them she said, "we don't have steak knives because people say you can cut our steaks with a butter knive because they are so tender" honey- those people are on crack. and they are wrong. and they have never eaten a decent steak in their life...bring me a steak knife. now. She disappeared in the back and re-appeared with 3 steak knives. The blueberry bbq sauce was interesting.....kind of smokey tasting with a hint of blueberry instead of the jam-like taste I was expecting....but who cares if the bbq sauce is good or not if the steak is awful.

curried seabass with shrim, scallops, pineapple and rice wine-

aaron liked this dish...I was too busy wiping a olive oil and truffle emulsion off my dress and trying to chew a piece of steak for 4 hours to remember what he liked about it...

Finally it was time for dessert. We all ordered this:

Roasted Banana Chocolate Bread Pudding.

To me it tasted like a chocolate brownie with ice cream on top, which I like so I was fine with it. But I was a little sad that I didn't taste any banana. Also I have actually never had real bread pudding, which apparantly was not what this tasted like... Katie (the bread pudding expert of the table) explained to me that real bread pudding was not that mushy and brownie tasting..... dessert was served with a glass of champagne, which made me happy.

At one point during the meal...Aaron had to go up to ask for steak knives and took the opportunity to let the manager know about our slow service and less than desireable food. She gave us all $25 gift certificates to come back and give them another try.... Also, apparantly to all restaurant week patrons, they were giving out 25% coupons to come back during a non-restaurant week time....our plan is to come for pre-dinner drinks, spend our gift cards...then go to dinner somewhere else.

I have read a ton of glowing reviews about Mesh...it is a shame our experience wasn't the same...but unfortunately there are too many delicious restaurants in this city to repeat the bad ones...

Mesh on Urbanspoon


Nicole said...

That is a great write up of our horrible experience! I've never had such a bad experience at a restaurant before. I've told everyone I know about the bad steak and bad service. It would have been nice if the manager would have gone above and beyond to make it up to us! I'm definitely going to write a letter to the manager / owner. The more I think about it the madder I get that I spent $100 and had a horrible meal and a frustrating experience.

Jen Lilley said...

Yeah- I was just telling my boss about our night and she couldn't believe that I paid for my meal at all after what happened...She couldn't believe that they didn't offer and then she couldn't believe that I didn't argue with them about it... I think I just wanted to get the heck out of there!

Nicole said...

Yeah, I can't believe I didn't make a big stink about everything. I just really wanted to have a good evening and was hoping that in the end the manager would make things right.

disabelladesign said...

you should seriously apply for a job at the NY times as a restaurant critic. this is good stuff!

Andrea said...

Wow. I'm impressed by the detail about the food for a place that was so awful. Sorry you had such a terrible experience!! And I would absolutely send her the dry cleaning bill ... and if it doesn't come clean, your bill for a new dress! Honestly though, what manager doesn't comp the meal for the person who was spilled on?!

FoodHussy said...

Man - that sucks - they used to be so good.


Jen Lilley said...

They are inviting us back. All six of us get to go back on 10/23 for a free 3 course meal with wine pairings to make up for our horrible experience last time.
I'll post an update then and see if they can redeem themselves!