Saturday, October 16, 2010

Best Around

Last weekend Jim and I were on our way to the Arizona Taco Festival in Scottsdale and after seeing the line and the crowd of people waiting to get into something that honestly, didn't look that great, we went for plan B. I'm going to warn you right now, this isn't a "Best Around" to tell you about how awesome the food is. The food at Culinary Dropout is good, but a little pricey for a Fox restaurant concept in my opinion; this feature is a spotlight on service, presentation, and decor. 

I had to admire the chandelier lighting throughout the restaurant. It was extravagant, unique, and very eye-catching. You'll notice the industrial lighting in the background, this was all over the restaurant-even in the bathroom-and gave a good balance to the romantic feel of the chandeliers.

I did LOVE the server station/kitchen setup. I think this is the first restaurant I've been to that I can actually comment on the appearance of the server stations! I've worked in my fair share of joints and I have never admired their practical-space setups. All of the little details from the chalk-board wall (love the pig!) to the deli slicer and even their pots and pans! Oh and rad textured, purple wall.

This was the view from our seat. You can see that all of the seating in the entire restaurant gave a feel of exclusivity; like you were invited to a special secret society (at least that's how I felt :).

We started with their signature drink, the "Clown Punch" with gin, a blend of juices and pomegranate foam. I don't really like gin, but I would probably order this one again. We shared it due to its size, plus I can't drink too much sweet all at once. If sweet is not your thing I would definitely avoid! I, however, really liked the pomegranate foam on this.

Next, our appetizer was the Soft Pretzel and Provolone Fondue combo. I happened to love it, it was different and fun, Jim on the other hand thought it was just okay. 

During the course of the visit, our server was polite and attentive when needed, but not overbearing or for lack of a better word, annoying. Also, the rest of the staff, other servers and hostesses, were very friendly as well.

Our main courses came with great timing, an everything looked great! I got the Short Rib Pasta and Jim got the Fried Chicken with potato puree and honey biscuits.  Now I have to give a disclaimer before giving my opinion on the food: Jim and I are really into eating out and finding fun, new and exciting places to eat. We are used to fried chicken from Rosco's (best fried chicken of my life) and short ribs from Chelsea's Kitchen (will have to share those another time), so nothing really compares. I will say that the food was good, unique and satisfying. If I'm speaking in all honesty, my short ribs were a little fatty and Jim's chicken and potatoes, a little salty. Other than that, I can't really complain. The chicken had a great crunch to it and the sauce for the pasta was pretty amazing. 

The menu had quite a few other intriguing items on it that might lure me back, and seeing as how we didn't order off of the Antipasti menu (a sushi style, pick your own chart) we might find ourselves wandering back. Last but not least, we got dessert. Another unique aspect to the menu was a caramel corn bowl (also available on top of custard). 

Overall I feel that we had a good experience here. I usually don't like to give a review or opinion on a place until I've been a couple of times; you never know for sure if something was a fluke or usually a different way until you go a more than once. It was definitely a better alternative to a hot, crowded taco festival! For a unique experience, check it out.


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