I had high hopes for this place. I was truly hoping for something above average, especially after meeting the chef and being a part of judging his dish at the Hood Dairy Cook-Off back in October. Don't get me wrong--our food was good, there was nothing wrong with it--but after seeing his creativity at the cook-off, I just thought maybe we'd experience something different.
We got to the restaurant around 530--it was relatively full, but the hostess said we could have a table if we thought we'd be done by 630--the offer was very nice, so we agreed. When we were seated, olive oil and marinara dipping sauces were already on the table and a basket of good bread was brought over--the marinara was cold, making it unappetizing for us, so we stuck with the olive oil.
Our waitress came by to take our orders--to start our meals, I had a caesar salad and Tom had the New England chowder. I went with "Red's Smokin Ribs"--1/2 rack with french fries and coleslaw. Tom ordered the frenched pork chop topped with frizzled onions, with mashed potatoes and veg medley. My ribs were good, nice and tender, with the 1/2 rack size being more than enough for me! Tom's pork chop may have been a bit overcooked, but was still tasty, quite large in size also. The veg medley, however, left something to be desired, as he didn't get much of anything and it seemed as if it was quickly tossed in oil and a few pieces were put on the plate.
We knew we were getting close to our deadline, so we ordered a piece of carrot cake to go. The best part of carrot cake for me is the cream cheese frosting and unfortunately there was the tiniest dollop right on the center of this circular piece of cake--not enough to cover any of the cake, or even share! The cake also had way too many walnuts in it, which was weird.
The most off-putting part of the dinner was the service. Our waitress was nice, but she forgot about us for long spans of time, leaving the hostess to do a lot of her work (refilling glasses, clearing plates, even wrapping my leftovers). Maybe they were short-staffed, I'm not sure--all I know is that she didn't seem to be able to handle her tables. With this occurring, we got out a bit later than the 630 deadline, but there was no one else waiting for a table when we left so I guess it all worked out in the end.