Mike Madriaga 9:30 a.m., Nov. 23
- Community Blog
This time around, we dined at only 1 restaurant during Restaurant Week. We chose Hexagone because it was new to us. My friend (heretofore in this blog to be known as DA) and I were there last Monday night. I was concerned about parking (Bankers Hill, 5th & Laurel) but we found a spot on 5th, one spot south of Laurel. Serendipitous. It had been raining, but cleared up at dinner time! No umbrella needed.
The entrance is on Laurel. When we opened the door, a man was right there to greet us. He had a table picked out and instructed the hostess where to seat us. I asked him to be sure to mark the reservation so I get my Open Table points. He seemed to know precisely what I meant. Our table was in the smaller section of the upside down & backwards L shaped room. The ambience was okay. Lots of tables, somewhat close together, windows all around with views of 5th or Laurel. Rather plain, but comfortable. It was about 50% full. Even though it was rather chilly outside, it got quite warm inside (lots of people, hot food & plates). The manager did turn the heat down which helped.
We ordered wine, by the glass (pricey at $9.50) but it was a good choice of a cabernet, by DA. We already knew what we wanted for our meal and Johan was ready for us. DA had lobster soup, filet, & chocolate cake. I chose frog legs, duck & Grand Marnier creme brulee. They brought a basket of bread with our water. It was plain french bread which was not even warm. Since I love bread, this was a black mark extraordinaire. Our first course arrived via the capable hands of Mr. Personality (we did not get his name). He knew he had the right section of the restaurant, but not which table. He admitted he was about to start an auction when he noted our empty table. He later delivered food to another table and his personality was felt throughout the area. DA's soup was full flavored lobster, creamy and good. My frog legs were perfect. I ordered this because of a restaurant in Michigan that left a lingering memory of really good frog legs. These were fried and served with what looked like salsa. They were delicious. DA even said they were good and did not taste anything like chicken!!!! Our entrees were delivered timely and hot. The duck was wonderful in a sauce with a definite orange flavor and even the green beans were a perfect al dente. DA tried the duck and admitted it was good. Her steak was cooked to order and she enjoyed it (I know because it was all gone shortly thereafter!). DA's chocolate mousse cake was a round mound with a crust on the bottom. Very yummy. My creme brulee custard was perfect with a hint of Grand Marnier. The top was a crust of burned sugar rather than the usual slightly charred crunchy top. I prefer the latter.
All in all, it was a nice evening. I was not overwhelmed and would not recommend it. There wasn't anything wrong, it just did not have a "signature". It was quite ordinary and the bread was cold!
Restaurant Week has been extended another week. I am making an assumption (I know) that the turnout was not great. My suggestion, because of the economy, would be to make the top price $30, and decrease the $30 to $25. There would be prices of $20, $25, $30. That is much more palatable. I understand the top notch places think they must charge $40, but egos do not bring in diners. I would also offer the half price on a bottle of wine (a few select choices). The point is to get people to come in. If they like it, they will be back.
Recently, I have been the recipient of some rather good news for wine lovers. Wine by the glass is pricey and most times hardly enough to really enjoy. But, a bottle is too much and I hate to pay the price (huge profit for the restaurant) and not drink it all! Two restaurants have recorked the bottles and allowed me to take them home (Flemings and Gaslamp Strip Club). This is a great solution, but it is not being advertised. So, I am telling you, get the bottle & take it home! You'll be glad you did.