30 December 2007

Restaurant Review: The Palm

We went to The Palm restaurant last night. I'd been hearing about this restaurant for years so with great expectations we went. We had a few surprises.

Ambiance: Despite the valet parking and the high prices on the menu, this was a very casual place. The waiters were in butcher aprons, the walls were covered with caricatures, the customers were often in jeans. It was a comfortable enough room but didn't match the hype. 19/30.

Service: The waiter was helpful and informed. The food and drinks came out promptly. We could have done without the five minute explanation on the history of the restaurant. 25/30.

Food: This is a steakhouse, first and foremost, and we didn't eat steak. So take that into consideration. That said, we did have the seafood (clams, mahi-mahi, ahi tuna, and swordfish) and they all tasted good. Nothing extraordinary in the presentation or the preparation but good solid stuff. The sides were a la carte but large enough to share--we went for the whipped potatoes and the wild mushrooms. Very rich but tasty. And the bread basket which the waiter offered and brought was a nice mix of breads, though they'd have been better served warm. Although the waiter said that the restaurant had started out as an Italian restaurant and still had Italian influence on the menu, we saw little of that.

I'd generally be inclined to give a decent rating on the food, given the last paragraph, but hubby and I were both running to the bathroom for half the night. Maybe the mushrooms were a little too wild?? 10/30.

Vegetarian: Very limited options. This is not a place for vegetarians. 5/30.

Cost: Expensive. By the time we were done with tip, we would have racked up a $200 tab for two cocktails, two appetizers, two entrees, two sides and two glasses of wine--if we hadn't had a gift certificate to apply. All that money for food that lacked originality 10/30.

Bonus: It is nice that they offer valet service as parking in that area can be daunting. +2.

Overall: 14/30.

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