About a week ago we again had dinner at Arcadia, the downtown San Jose restaurant of Chef Michael Mina. If you remember, this is where we had that very expensive burger. We hadn't actually planned on going there, but the other restaurants we had checked our were packed and we were very hungry.
We walked in to a sea of open tables, and yet the ditzy hostess still had to ask Bill if we had a reservation. Uhhh... no, so does that mean we have to wait an hour to get seated? ::eye roll:: We were seated immediately, although it took a while for our waiter to come and take our orders. Basically, the service was mediocre at best, slow and inattentive at worst. The "bread lady" was much better than the actual waiter.
Speaking of bread... on every table they had these brass "platform" things with votive candles burning inside. The "bread lady" placed the bread tray, which had a granite bottom, on top of the platform. I guess this was supposed to keep the bread warm. They served one piece each of olive bread (yuck), a sourdough (yum) and a sweet roll (yum). With the bread came three kinds of compound butter: sundried tomato, anchovy, and sea salt. All were very good.
For appetizers, Bill had the Maine Lobster Corndogs, which was lobster meat served corndog style, i.e. it was dipped in batter and deep fried. It was pretty good. I had seared Hudson Valley foie gras served with a cherry reduction and with pears. Hot damn, it was fantastic! I just love foie gras and feel absolutely no guilt eating it. Too bad that unless the goose farmers find a new way of producing the fatty livers, foie gras production and sales will be completely banned in California within a few years. Crap!
Ok, on to the main course. (Incidentally, why most Americans insist on calling the main course an "entrée" is something I will never understand. "Entrée", or entry, or ingress, would more accurately map to an appetizer or first course. )
Bill had the "scallop potatoes" and I had the "pork and beans". One thing I will say about the food, including the appetizers but especially the main courses: Arcadia's presentation is awesome! Everything looks fantastic and almost too good to eat.
Anyway... the "scallop potatoes" consists of seared sea scallops on beds of potato cakes. Caviar sauce is artfully drizzled on the side. Bill said it was really good. I didn't taste it because I hate scallops. The "pork and beans" that I had was a Berkshire pork chop with beans and succotash. It was excellent. The meat was perfectly seared and very moist on the inside, and the side items were very good as well.
It took quite a while for our food to arrive, but the it was so good that it almost made up for the wait. I say almost because, considering that the restaurant was less than half full, I really think the food should have reached our table sooner. Like I said, service was mediocre at best. We did not order dessert or any alcoholic beverages. We just had Coke and water. Total tab was $96 before tip. Let's just say it didn't get much higher than that with tip, because of the ho-hum service.