Monday, May 19, 2014

Ceres Table - Lakeview

We sent about half the dishes back, uneaten.  Grilled octopus had good flavors on the plate, but I chewed for a good 30 seconds before spitting it into my napkin and deciding that the flavors were not worth the choking hazard.  Two pasta dishes were the worst I can ever recalling receiving at a restaurant of this supposed caliber.  Spaghetti nero was overcooked to complete mush, and was swimming in a lagoon of mucilaginous mud.  The dish had the precise texture of something you’d pour from a can of Chef Boy R Dee.  Linguine alla chitarra had so many problems that I’m not sure where to begin.  First of all, it was not linguine.  It was angel hair pasta.  It too was woefully overcooked and served in a congealed state such that when I put my fork in to twirl out a few strands, the entire thing lifted off the bowl in one solid chunk.  I am not exaggerating.  It was truly horrible.
Our server at Ceres Table was a polished professional, with good knowledge about the menu and a clear passion for food.  I was embarrassed for her every time we brought an issue to her attention.  She’d clearly worked in successful restaurants and took pride in her job.  I wonder if she is trying to figure out how the heck to get out of this horror show before it puts a black mark on her career.

The manager she kept bringing over to our table seemed to be trying his best too, but he didn’t execute quite as well.  After a gap between our first course and second, he came over to explain that the crudo we ordered had been 86’d.  With his apologies, he said he was going to bring something over to us “on the house” to make up for it.  That never happened.  Between that incident and the multiple times he’d come to our table in response to us sending dishes back uneaten, we’d seen each other enough that by the end of the night, we all knew it was over.  He apologized again for all of the mishaps, and said he really wanted to bring us something – anything we wanted – to make up for it.  He practically pleaded with me to ask for something, but I think we both knew that it just needed to end.  The last thing I wanted at that point was to get another dish that I’d have to send back.
We didn’t starve at Ceres Table, as our meal started with a hefty portion of burrata, wax beans and bread, all of which was delicious and filling.  After that bright initial note, it was hard to believe the steep downturn the rest of the meal took.  I’m trying to think of a way to wrap this post up with something hopeful.  But no, the level of ineptitude I experienced last night offers not even a glimpse of hope about this place. 

Ceres Table
3124 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657

No comments:

Post a Comment