Sunday, July 22, 2007

Terroir - New PDX Restaurant Getting Bad Rap

The restaurant's been open 6 or 7 weeks now. Is that enough time for a restaurant to get their shit together? You tell me. It seems like it should be. Terroir had a lot of press going into their opening, which could be a blessing or a curse. So far for them it's leaning towards a curse. The site really chewed them a new one. And maybe for good reason. My wife was telling me about the review, and so I had to go in, just for a drink and a snack, to see if what she was talking about was true. She opted out of eating anything there, despite the fact that she had last eaten at 2pm and it was now 10pm. That's how much the review freaked her out. I ordered a Portland Stormy cocktail, which is Rogue Distillery dark rum, Clear Creek brandy, some ginger ale and lime. Uh, it was okay. It was certainly strong, but definitely NOT inspired. There was no stirring, shaking, or general massaging of the liquid to give it a froth or any texture. But I gave them the benefit of the doubt - they are advertised as a wine bar after all. I ordered the french fries and she a martini. The bartender was very nice so we talked with her for a bit. She doesn't drink. At all? "No, never." Of course she tastes, so she can recommend appropriate wine and cocktail choices with food. Brenda had a Kettle One martini. Half a shot of that normal? Tasted a bit sweet. And again, the texture was off - maybe not enough stirring. The fries had lots of salt. I like salt. This should be a good thing. But this was way over the top! The zinfandel ketchup was unevenly textured (a little chunky and watery at the same time).

Enough about the fries. We started talking to the bartender some more - she was so nice. "Every wine I taste tastes like either grass, or dirt...". REALLY? I love a nice person as much as the next, but the choice to have a non-drinking bartender who doesn't understand wine (employed at a wine bar) seems like yet another poorly aligned step for a chef/owner who's already getting a really bad rap.

1 comment:

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