Monday, January 24, 2011

Bonterra - Charlotte Restaurant Week bottom line:

·         Overall decent experience – nothing terrible, nothing amazeballs
·         Fantastic wine list
·         A slightly smudgy (smug + judgy) vibe from our server

The Food Baby ladies grabbed their hottie husbands and hit up Bonterra for Charlotte Restaurant Week. This selection was made after extensive poring over menus on the CRW website, and concluding that this was the superior menu.

After a drinkie at the bar, we were seated in a cozy corner and placed our orders. My apologies for being sans photos…we were feeling a bit “off duty” and didn’t properly capture the moments on film.

Appetizer: BBQ Duck Spring Rolls - house smoked duck, crème fraiche
I ordered these after our server stated these were the best appetizer on the menu. They were good, but not great. The rolls were flaky and buttery, and the duck was decent (if not a little bland). The BBQ  sauce had a unique five-spice flavor, but just a hint, and the crème fresche was nice but there was not enough of it.  Overall the dish was fine, but not mind-blowing.

Entrée: Fire  Roasted Filet Mignon 7oz. - shallot Port reduction, grilled asparagus, horseradish whipped purple potatoes
I was very happy to cut into my steak to see that it was perfectly medium rare. I am a creepy magnet for overcooked steaks. It happens so often I once even wrote into Helen Schwab asking what was up – she dismissed my query as a silly conspiracy theory. Hm. The reduction on the steak was tasty, and the whipped purple potatoes had a nice, strong horseradish flavor. Three of the four of us had the filet, and nary was a morsel left when the plates were cleared.  I wouldn’t attribute this to a particularly excellent steak though – rather to the fact that we were sufficiently wine drunk at this point.

Dessert: Mini Chocolate Ganache Cheesecake
Despite being described as “mini” this was a fairly standard sized cheesecake (not complaining!). However, the first thing I thought (okay, said) after tasting it was that it tasted “previously frozen”. It tasted fine, but the texture was a bit synthetic.
The Wine:
The wine list is the best part about Bonterra, IMHO. There are so many selections by the glass, I opted to skip around and try something different each time. I stuck to drinking pinots, while my hubby sipped on malbecs and cabs – all of which were dankalicious! My husband ordered some malbec, after which our server said “oh, I’m sorry we are out of that. Let me recommend a similar malbec which I think you will enjoy. It’s about 100 times better than the one you ordered”.  I was mostly unfazed by this, but my hubbie was straight pissed. He was like “what’s up with that judgment of my original order? For all he knows that’s my favorite wine.” The table agreed that this server was damn smudgy (smug + judgy). He also poured our wines out of carafes into our glasses in a very obnoxious way – pouring from about 2 feet above the glass, resulting in an overabundance of air bubbles in each glass.

Of course we had a fabulous time, because we are fabulous in general. However, the dining experience can only be described as decent. Nothing terrible but nothing to write home about either. 

Bonterra on Urbanspoon

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