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.

So long

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Comments

CuddleFish Jan. 24, 2010 @ 6:24 p.m.

Wanna cry some more about how you're going to be out in the street without your COLA?

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PistolPete Jan. 24, 2010 @ 8:11 p.m.

Damn CF...you sure have learned alot from me while visiting. :-D

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antigeekess Jan. 24, 2010 @ 10:09 p.m.

Re #1:

Link, por favor? (I just GOTTA see this.)

:)

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CuddleFish Jan. 25, 2010 @ 12:31 a.m.

Oh, Lord, AG, we been going back and forth about this for a while.

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auntsandiegospeaks Jan. 28, 2010 @ 1:42 a.m.

In response to all of the above comments:
First of all, I have little to cry about (other than medical issues,& no money!!). Next, I do manage to eat at some very fine restaurants and I realize you ASSUME I am paying.

I was/am upset about COLA. Whether you believe me or not makes no difference. I fall under the "very low income" on the Housing Dept. eligibility charts.

So, chortle all you want, continue to criticize, do whatever you please (free country). I will keep on writing.

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SDaniels Jan. 28, 2010 @ 6:14 a.m.

auntsandiego, I do hope that you continue to write. I really appreciated this one on Hexagone--glad you go for a nice meal now and then. It doesn't sound like you are spending on much else, and I believe that you are in the dire straits you seem to be. I can totally understand that you would splurge on Restaurant Week. It is a great deal, and a way to learn about food, for people like me and my man, too.

I think that folk are reacting to your blog because you don't seem to have much empathy for the homeless. That is something you'll have to work out on your own, but I can understand that someone might get fed up with homeless men pissing and drinking and yelling in the street--that is why we moved from downtown. I can't imagine what it must be like to be older, and feel afraid walking by people you've become used to having yell at you. That is something I hope not to experience when I'm older.

That said, maybe you can develop some more empathy for the folk you see daily, and smile now and then--you'll be a calmer person for it, and so will they, in some cases. ;)

About warmed bread at one's table:

The fact that the bread was not warmed at Hexagone, doesn't seem like a big deal to me--try tasting it, and determine if it is of good quality, as it probably is. It is probably going to be slightly nutty, chewy, with a great crust full of character, if it is a good French baguette, or country loaf. Here's the thing, auntie: The French do not generally warm their bread at table, so you have to evaluate it on other points.

Bon appetit!

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auntsandiegospeaks Feb. 3, 2010 @ 12:36 p.m.

Sorry SDaniels, the bread was ordinary, nothing special, and I eat cold bread at other places. The French do a lot of things special, like sauces and wine. I happen to truly love bread & therefore was disappointed. Just my opinion. Several years ago, I would make sandwiches (60 or so), bring fresh fruit (bananas, grapes) and feed the homeless around here. 3 years ago I took lots & lots of holiday cookies. I sat around the coffee cart in front of the library with many very appreciative people. We had a nice time. BUT, things have changed since the time I was accosted, and the people that used to be here have moved on. The "new group" of homeless are aggressive, demanding, pushy. With every encounter I become disillusioned about their plight (many want to be out there). I am compassionate, but now I am also afraid. Empathy does not mix well with fear. I am also relentless in my efforts to get the City moving on their plan (next step is a permanent shelter). That's my story

Thanks for reading.

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PistolPete Feb. 3, 2010 @ 1:51 p.m.

If it makes you feel any better, auntsandiego, I'm in your corner regarding the COLA. I don't think it's fair that seniors have to practicaly eat cat food while the Washington fat cats vote themselves COLA raises every year or two. It's bulls*** and it needs to stop.

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SDaniels Feb. 3, 2010 @ 2:44 p.m.

Seriously, a person should be able to take occasional advantage of Restaurant Week, right? :) Hey auntsd, sounds like you are savvy, then--it's the fact that you seemed to expect warm bread that led me to believe you just didn't know that is not the norm...

Yes, thanks for addressing the homeless issue, and I can understand your feelings about fear and empathy--so so true. it's really too bad the aggressive crowd moved into your area, and I hope they find other places to drink and carouse soon--a population referred to as "transient" for a reason ;)

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