Restaurant: Arcadia Restaurant - October 23, 2011
Service: 3/4 Food: 3/4 Presentation: 2/4 Concept: 4/4 Value: 4/4
This restaurant was fine in food and in service. The food was seasoned very well and the presentation was simple. We’ve always been a fan of simple foods: nothing fussy, where the main ingredient can really shine through. The service was great and the atmosphere was romantic. Great date night place!
Restaurant: Alexander’s Steakhouse - October 21, 2011
Address: 10330 North Wolfe Road, Cupertino, CA 95014
Service: 4/4 Food: 3/4 Presentation: 4/4 Concept: 2/4 Value: 3/4
To sum up our experience in a single word: REDEMPTION.
On the second visit, we experienced the food and service that we had hoped for on our initial visit and it became clear how a restaurant of this caliber had earned its high acclaim. A strange encounter with duplicity, on this occasion we found the Dr. Jekyll to the previous Mr. Hyde. The food, presentation, concept, and value remained consistent compared to our last visit, but what elevated the experience was the prompt, polite, and professional service - so much so that it arrived just short of a 5 Star rating.
Our waiter Scott was fantastic! Very attentive, everything a waiter should be! Once again, the support staff was attentive as well. Great service all around this time. Once it picked up, the service slowed, but not to the point where we felt neglected, as was the case during our first experience.
We were seated promptly and drinks were served immediately. Scott came to us very quickly with menus in hand and was fully knowledgeable of the specials and menu. Off to a good start.
The amuse bouche for the night was a slow poached egg with maple syrup and miso cream. The miso cream was very light and was done beautifully. However, Alexander’s should re-examine the use of maple syrup, as such sweetness early on in a meal (and on an empty stomach) can have the opposite effect for which it was intended.
Our dishes were cleared promptly and our glasses were always full. Nice to see this aspect of the service is always consistent.
Appetizers were tempura short ribs and smoked gyu carpaccio. The tempura short ribs were delicious. The tempura was the right thickness and had just enough crunch without feeling like a mouthful of fried tempura mix. The accompanying maitake mushrooms did not add much in the way of flavor to the dish. The dipping sauce that came with it was lovely.
The carpaccio was presented beautifully with nice colors. The first impressions of the carpaccio were that it was presented beautifully with nice colors and that there was a lot going on in the dish. Though it’s appearance was complex, the textures and flavors were spot on.
The intermezzo of a pomegranate gelee with apple pearls and micro cilantro was refreshing. We really liked how the gelee was not too sweet or thick, just enough to bridge our first courses with the entree and cleanse the palate.
Entrees consisted of filet mignon with a demi-glace and the sous-vide jidori chicken. The filet was slightly overcooked without ruining the taste. This would have been an opportunity to just season the meat beautifully and let it shine through on its own.
The sous-vide jidori chicken was well-cooked; juicy and tender all the way through with a crispy skin that came off nicely. A well-seasoned dish. The popcorn foam on top was underwhelming and did not give off the contrast in flavors we were anticipating. The green garlic puree was good, but did not come across as garlic, it was much more acidic. The portioning could have been reduced to half the size as much of the chicken was left unfinished.
After the entrees, we noticed the service slowing down a bit because the dinner rush was in full swing. It took a good 20-25 minutes between finishing our entree to ordering our dessert. Ordinarily this would have seemed long, but we were enjoying the company and compared to our initial visit, the slow-down was nothing.
For dessert, we had the Love Bites and the Southern Belle. The Love Bites (chocolate hazelnut sponge cake, praline parfait, citrus coulis, candied hazelnut, and praline powder) dessert was good, but did not wow us. We would have preferred something richer like a ganache to complement the hazelnut. The Southern Belle dessert was not our favorite. The smoked ice cream was a bit too savory and the bourbon glazed peaches seemed to have their natural flavor cooked out of them. The corn sponge cake was very airy and did not add anything to the overall flavors of the dish. We would be interested in revisiting their dessert menu for other options in the future.
But all in all, an excellent dining experience. We are glad to have come back and change our minds about this restaurant. Well done, and PLEASE keep this kind of high quality service up!