My brother and I took our father and his girlfriend for Christmas Eve dinner. Upon arriving at the restaurant, we were greeted by the host while I discreetly slipped him my credit card so that my father wouldn't steal the bill like he usually does. We were seated at our reserved table promptly and the server, Kyle, greeted us and took our drink orders. He was personable and attentive.
I had the venison carpaccio and the roast game hen. My brother and father both had the scallop starter followed by the roast tenderloin. My father's girlfriend had the winter squash soup and the lamb shoulder. On top of the overall under-seasoned and inconsistency of every dish, the portions were miniscule compared to that of other restaurants in the same category.
The sourdough mini rolls tasted of cardboard, as if it was left out for too long. The butter was still cold so it couldn't be spread over the rolls with ease.
The plates were hot but the rims were all dirty.
The wine glasses were too small for the half glasses we ordered.
Scallop Appetizer ($16): The scallops were sweet but definitely not fresh due to the obvious lack of characteristic brine and mineral delicacy found in fresh specimens. The risotto was so overcooked that each grain of the arborio were "exploded" as if it was the consistency of congee.
Winter Squash Soup ($9.50): The only decent dish out of the lot.
Venison Carpaccio ($14): Tasted so gamey that I suspect the meat was a bit too ripe. The watercress on the same plate was completely void of the usual sharp peppery tang.
Beef Tenderloin ($36): The tiny medallion of beef had beautiful fat marbling and flavour but the muscle itself had next to none. The savoury foam accompaniment was pretentious. The waiter introduced the green on the dish as black kale (lacinato kale) when in fact it was curly green English kale. It was so over-buttered that it didn't taste at all like a vegetable. My father's root veg were barely seared on the outside and still crispy in the middle while my brother's root veg were so cooked that they were an even shade of brown with a mushy consistency. The confit potatoes tasted like they were boiled then quickly seared in the pan with minimal duck fat, if at all.
Roast Game Hen ($26): I expected at least half a hen but there were only 2 breasts. The meat didn't seem roasted like the menu had mentioned, but rather seared on the top side only and then quickly popped into the oven to be finished off. The polenta had the consistency and flavour of processed eggs and completely lacking in texture and richness. The dish was too sweet overall and the pears didn't help.
Lamb Shoulder ($27): Overcooked and too mushy. It didn't combine well with the lentils which has quite a creamy consistency. There was absolutely no sharpness brought to the dish to cut the richness of the lamb.
We didn't stay around for dessert and asked for the bill immediately after our plates had been cleared. The host that I had given my credit card to did not inform our server at all about the situation and I had to tell him in front of our entire party to ask the host for my credit card. The host didn't step up to apologize but instead slipped out of the restaurant as we were paying our bill.
Incidentally, my experiences at C were just as, if not more, underwhelming. I will not be returning.