November 2004 - Stewart House
5.81 - 7, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 5, 4.5
-- (closed in 2010, reopened 2011)
As usual, we were in the dark (both physically and figuratively) on our way to our next eating outing (say that three times fast!). A round about drive around Athens down by the river with a slowing as we neared Dionysus on the water front in Athens gave some of us the opportunity for a quick “I told you so” and others a more quizzical “Dio-what?” As it turned out, the Teators were just trying to throw us off as we headed on up the street back toward The Stewart House.
Upside – A great old building that has been renovated and re-renovated over the years to maintain that old Victorian feel. As always, our crew was hungry, talkative and thirsty, and ready to take on whatever the evening’s topic(s) might be. The best part of the meal for some of us that dared to venture into that somewhat eclectic eating venue experienced an incredible salad. If there’s a category for “Best Salad”, this would get my vote hands down. Of course, I wouldn’t actually put my hands down because the fork would be too difficult to utilize to eat this scrumptious combination of roasted beets layered with goat cheese with caramelized nuts served over mesclun greens. O.k., enough about the salad – you get the idea...
I believe all our meals were quite tasty with generous portions (I don’t recall any complaints). The Adams had dined here recently and raved about the pork and those that ordered it that evening were not disappointed.
Downside – I don’t know if it was a “War of the World” thing and people were hoping to catch a glimpse of Spielberg and/or Cruise, but it was extraordinarily busy, even for a Saturday night. Both the bar and restaurant were packed with people and it gave the feel of a bustling NYC restaurant (that could be good or bad, depending on your point of view). We had a reservation and did not have to wait to sit, but somehow our table was set for only seven. This caused the first of many “stirs” for our wait staff. Again, if there was a category for “Weirdest Waiter/Waitress”, our girl would have run away with the trophy. It is not my intention to equate a strange waitress with poor service. However, in this instance, they were one and the same. Bread for eight came in a basket for six, drink orders came slow, and appetizers were “staggered” over the course of 10-15 minutes with women (namely Kriss) being served last. A small pitcher did not come close to filling all our water glasses and even the “assistant” to the waitress just didn’t seem to get it. Cut her some slack though – as I said, it was very busy that night.
A definite do again for the food. Also, perhaps less hustle and bustle in the restaurant would make for better overall service. I’d go again just for the salad.