When your dinner companion asks you at the end of the evening "was that really worth $125?", you have to question your restaurant selection. For years now we have had a "like" versus "not so crazy about it" relationship with Bogart's. I used to live close by so it was great fun to stroll over for a good bloody caesar and a nice appetizer. They used to make a great hummus back in the days before Tim made his own. Then they changed the menu. Tim was so disappointed at the time that we stopped going.
Every once in a while we give Bogart's another try. They have a solid menu of fine dining classics. Veal Osso Bucco, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Rack of Lamb, Roast Duck, etc. Last week we tried it again. They always make a fuss about having reservations. In the city of Moncton a reservation on a weeknight for 2 people is rarely needed unless you are going to the Windjammer or Pastelli's. Few other restaurants are that busy during the week. I called ahead. This time they had lost our reservation in the 30 minutes that elapsed between the time we called and the time we showed up there. They were still able to seat us given that the restaurant was only about 20% full.
We were served drinks fairly quickly which as you all know is one of my pet peeves. Don't leave me sitting there without a cocktail! I can eat at home and have a cocktail in my hand in a timely manner! The bloody caesar was okay but not one of the better ones I have had. Tim ordered a brandy and the waitress had to bring out the whole selection for him to pick one because she knew nothing about brandy. Okay, I could let that slide.
Tim ordered the fish chowder as a starter and I ordered the roasted duck salad. We never got our bread until we already had our appetizers on the table. And we had to move our own bread plates out of the way for the waitress to put our appetizers down. These are little things but when you are paying fine dining prices, you should expect fine dining service. She kept saying how I was the first one who had ever ordered a duck salad in the 6 months since she had been there. That should have been a sign.... I now know why no one orders it. It was mostly salad with a little duck that was basically tasteless. The greens were nice and there were lots of them. The dressing was lovely too. But there was really no need for the duck. Except that it was called a "duck" salad. And for $12.99, I wanted to taste some good duck! I was a little disappointed. Tim's chowder, on the other hand, was fantastic. Full of flavour and rich. It even had corn in it which Tim does not like but he thoroughly enjoyed it anyway.
For our main courses, Tim ordered the Chicken Aphrodite. It was an interesting dish of chicken stuffed with walnuts and cooking in phyllo pastry. It had a sweetness about it. It was interesting but Tim was full after the chowder so he was a little disappointed that he couldn't enjoy his main dish more. This is why sometimes we just go out for appetizers or don't bother ordered them if we are being sensible.
I had fillet of sole stuffed with shrimp and crab. It tasted just like the ones you can get at the Costco. Isn't that a terrible thing to say?! But I've had the ones from the freezer at the Costco and they are pretty darn good. Now we should point out here that the kitchen at Bogart's is open for all to see so I'm pretty sure they aren't whipping out boxes from the Costco. The fillet was served on a bed of creamed leeks and spinach which was divine. I also had the rosemary mashed potatoes which were lovely.
We shared a bottle of Germany Pieroth Riesling, had cocktails to start but no dessert. So was the meal worth $125. For us I'd have to so no. I can do most of the dishes at home but I am The Gourmet Goddess. For most folks looking for the fine dining standards, this is a good place to go and it's not too fussy so you won't feel embarrassed if you don't know which fork to use.
If you have a different view or something to say, leave a comment. We all work hard for our entertainment dollar so let's share our experiences!