I just love the screen presence that Bobby Flay has on his food shows. With so many TV shows and Iron Chef accolades under his belt – I was thrilled to finally try out one of his restaurants. We chose to go to Bar Americain because the most recent issue of The Food Network Magazine (March 2010) had featured his Shellfish Cocktails – which looked outstanding!
Boy was I disappointed……
I feel like I spent the entire evening at Bar Americain catching wisps of the Bobby I thought I knew and loved………
Everything about this restaurant felt so overwhelmingly underwhelming. The space is huge and its overdone with giant lamps hanging from the ceiling. I felt it was all so mass – it lacked the attention to details and personality I expected.
The waiters were friendly but disconnected to the customers! The food was the biggest disappointment. I expected highly creative dishes with Bobby Flays jazz and pizazz – a dash of this a dash of that and poof – a magical dish would appear before me. No such luck! I kept waiting for the magic to happen but it never really did.
I felt like I spent the whole evening looking for Bobby Flay. He would show up just a little – here and there in a dish or two – but nothing quite hit the mark or made a lasting impression.
I guess my search for the real Bobby Flay will just go on……..perhaps Mesa Grill…. but after this experience …I think it will be a long time before I’m willing to “throwdown” this kind of cash for a meal like that!
Here is some of what we ate:
We did tried the tasting of all three of the shellfish cocktails. The presentation was cool but they didn’t taste as good as they looked.
The Shrimp Tomatillo had a nice tangy tomatillo sauce but it lacked spice. I felt it needed just a little hit of chili to really fire up the dish.
The crab coconut was really bland. There was no flavor added to the coconut milk at all. The crab was fresh but there was nothing in this dish that piqued my interest.
The Lobster Avocado was the best of the Shellfish cocktails. Lobster and avocado always makes for a winning combination. I thought this cocktail was very well put together.
HOT POTATO CHIPS WITH BLUE CHEESE SAUCE
The Blue Cheese Sauce that came with this appetizer was really rich and creamy but it was worth all the calories consumed. The chips were not all that “hot” but the dip sure made up for it.
SPICY TUNA TARTAR WITH CLASSIC GARNISHES
I think this was the worst dish of the night. The fish was cut in rough chunks that really took away from the delicacy of a Tuna Tartare. I could barely taste any kind of spice flavoring in the fish and though the garnishes were fresh, I felt it really couldn’t help save the tartare.
GALA APPLE SALAD WITH WALNUTS
The Gala Apple Salad with Walnuts, Maytag Blue Cheese and Pomegranate was a fresh, perky salad that offered no surprises.
RED PEPPER CRAB CAKE WITH RED CABBAGE SLAW
The Red Pepper Crab Cake was very nicely seasoned. It was deep fried though and I feel that often when crab cakes are deep fried, it takes away from it’s delicacy.
DUCK WITH DIRTY WILD RICE
I really liked theDuck, Dirty Wild Rice with Pecans & Bourbon. The duck was very flavorful and tender. The meat melded really well with the wild rice and bourbon sauce.
FULTON FISH MARKET CIOPPINO WITH SOURDOUGH TOAST
The Cioppino had a great medley of fresh seafood in it and was simmered in a tasty tomato based broth. The thinly sliced sour dough toast went really well with the rich seafood broth.
There were quite a few interesting picks for dessert but we settled for fairly traditional choices
DEEP DISH CHOCOLATE CREME PIE
This dessert basically consisted of a rich chocolate pudding that was covered with cream and a really nice crunchy praline type biscuit. The combination worked really well.
GRANNY SMITH APPLE TART WITH MAPLE ICE CREAM
I did not like this apple tart – the crust was hard and chewy and it was difficult to cut. However, the maple walnut ice cream that came with the tart was very nutty and delicious.
MY RATINGS FOR THIS MEAL
Overall experience: ☆☆☆
I recommend: Lobster Avocado Cocktail, Duck, Dirty Wild Rice with Pecans & Bourbon, Fulton Fish Market Cioppino
(All ratings are out of a possible 5 stars. Each establishment is individually rated based on my experience of that particular meal. Ratings are also based on my expectations of quality of food, value for money, service, ambiance and overall experience)