Sunday, December 18, 2011

Meat and Potatoes

On Saturday I was at Piratefest and near the end of it DB~ met me down at the convention center. We were joined for dinner by my friend Tim and originally intended to go to NOLA on the Square. However, when we called ahead the earliest possible reservation was 9:15 (it was 7'ish).

A restaurant that I've had in the back of my mind is Meat and Potatoes. I liked the name, liked the logo, and liked its description as a pub. That was about all I knew about it, though, aside from it being on Penn Avenue. We walked from the Convention Center to Meat and Potatoes and were surprised that it is practically IN the O'Reilly Theater.

There's a seperate entrance, but the hostess stand is kind of in an O'Reilly-feeling lobby and is a little exposed to the elements when the door is open and closed. Those minor concerns were all that we could find wrong with Meat and Potatoes, though.

When you enter the restaurant, it's darkened to give off a relaxing mood. There's a large chalkboard to your left that show the specials of the day. Also to your left is a private "party" room that has a white farm-style sliding door with glass panels and black hardware and handles. The private room might hold 10 people tops.

There was a long wait for a table here also, but we were able to be seated immediately at the bar. DB~ and I actually prefer to eat at the bar sometimes because you get quicker service and the bartenders tend to engage you more than a typical server. It also seemed as if the granite top bar had more depth to it for your plates and drinks than the typical table here.

The bartenders wore dark colored vests and ties tucked in the vests. The one bartenders had a "chaffeurs' hat" on with his pinstriped vest, reminding us of the bartenders at the erstwhile Embury (single tear in memory of that great place). As it turns out, our bartender was actually the head bartender at Embury at the time of its closing.

He was able to mix a mean Sidecar for me. DB~ and Tim both had special craft beers -- one was a raspberry chicory stout and the other was a winter ale.

For dinner, DB~ wanted one last hurrah with her autumn beau of pumpkin, so she ordered the pumpkin ravioli. Tim ordered the pork chop. I ordered the chicken pot pie.

Unfortunately, my pictures turned out very dark (no flash on my phone), but DB~ loved her dish. It was in a brown butter and sage sauce with parmesean, but the key here were the pecans that were roasted in (I believe) nutmeg. They really finished off the dish.

Tim's pork chop looked like it came straight out of the Flintstones. I was concerned it was going to tip his plate over, just like the brontosaurus chop did to Fred's car. It was served with some baked beans and a spicy slaw that had Tim sweating a little bit.

My chicken pot pie was great. The peas were actually whole sugar snap peas, slices of carrot, slivers of celery, roasted sections of chickens. However, the star of the show here were the tiny purple Peruvian potatoes and tiny white potato halves. Quite tasty.

All 3 of us loved the restaurant and would definitely check it out again. Perhaps in conjunction with a show at the O'Reilly next time.

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