Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Nor'easter Restaurant, time to blow on by?

The Nor'easter Restaurant is in the space formerly known as the Paddock. I was there on Friday night with a group of friends for drinks, appetizers, and maybe dinner. They had valet parking, and that valet guy was the highlight of the evening. He was nice, outgoing, and funny. I should have stayed outside and chatted with him.

But I did go into the bar area and found my friends. Some were at the bar, a few playing pool, and a few more at various high-top tables in the bar. We were not one big group that overwhelmed the place but a few small groups that arrived at different times and ate and drank different things. It was busy but not overcrowded.

I had only been to the Paddock Restaurant once in my life so I can't make too many accurate comments about if it's changed much, but to me the bar area looked almost exactly the same as it looked before. There is a nice pool table room that I don't remember from the Paddock, but I'm not a huge pool shark (I actually have a pool table) so it may have been there before. The dining room seemed a bit freshened up but more or less to me it looks the same as it used to.

I sat at one of the high-tops, and it took 20 minutes for the server to get to our table. She was nice but clearly frazzled. She took drink orders and left. About 15 minutes later she began to deliver the drinks, one at a time. Not on a big tray, not one in each hand, but one drink at a time. It had taken about 45 minutes before I had a drink. Yikes.

I watched a lot of the food go by, and it looked fine, none of it look inspired, it was just decent looking seafood. If I remember correctly, the oysters on the half shell were over $2. a piece, even Naked Oyster is less expensive, so I thought that was a bit much. I didn't see any go by me so I can't comment on the presentation.

I asked the waitress if they had any gluten free food. She said she didn't know and that she'd check. As everyone who is GF knows, that's a very bad sign. If the server help isn't trained about gluten and cross contamination, it's probably not going to be a place I'd like to eat at. She came back 18 minutes later to tell me they could make me a dry piece of fish and mashed potatoes. Really? I was shocked. When I first had to go GF back 12+ years ago, that was the sort of meal I would have to eat when dining out. But in the ensuing years restaurants have now offer amazing gluten free meals.

In the same market that Nor'easter is in (Main Street, Hyannis) you can get GF pasta, GF french fries, GF fried fish, and so much more, so it was amazing to me that not only do they not have a GF menu, but they didn't really know much about what is and what isn't gluten free (or at least the server didn't). I asked the server if the oysters on the half shell were GF and she said she was told just the fish and mashed were. Well, we all know that plain oysters are too.

At my table was a big bowl of Portuguese Kale soup which my friend said was splendid. Of course, I couldn't taste it because it wasn't GF but it looked like it had a lot of potatoes in it (and because of that I'm not sure why they needed to add flour to it). Another friend also ordered a shrimp cocktail. I think it had four shrimp, they were big, fresh looking, and she said it tasted great, but it was just a shrimp cocktail. Even the presentation looked dated, tall bowl/glass with ice and shrimp hanging over. Surely there must be another, more creative way, to present it.

A few other dishes were ordered, it took ages to get them and not one person in our group decided to order dinner there, as a matter of fact we all went to another restaurant down the street to eat dinner.

There was another mishap when we asked for our checks. Not one of them at our table was correct. A few were under charged, a few over charged and it took 40 minutes for the server to figure out how to fix them. We left and that great valet guy chatted with us and we left. I know the restaurant is new and has a "few" kinks to work out, but this was by far the worst open I've ever been to.

My last gripe is that they don't have a website, who doesn't have a website? They do have a Facebook page with very few posts on it, and it's as uninspiring as the food. Some of you may know that my real job is doing media and marketing for businesses, Nor'easter your social media needs Rx.

I don't think I'll ever go back, with almost nothing I can eat why would I? Oh and one last thing, if you look at their sign at the very top of this article you can see that the "garden" under the sign is totally filled with grass and weeds. Right now I think this place is in the weeds.

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