Friday, October 19, 2012

Drafting Table: Rework The Blueprint

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Drafting Table is a new restaurant on 14th Street that soft-opened last week and officially opened this week. As the name suggests, the restaurant has an architecture theme, and the menu can best be describe as eclectic grastropub fare.

Drafting Table’s menu oscillates from bar food to grown-up entrees, which has proved awesome in other cases (think: Birch & Barley). Although we don't mind eclectic, the menu just seemed a little confused. We are still struggling to understand how a fried pickle platter and duck confit ended up on the same menu! Even more obscure is what any of this has to do with the architecture decor.

Before going into the specifics of the meal, we do want to point out that the staff was friendly, attentive and obviously eager to please.  But as a former waitress, Amanda was slightly bothered when the waitress placed a tray on the table to serve the beverages and stacked plates at the table. 

Notwithstanding our confusion about the menu, we started with a falafel appetizer that was actually pretty decent. In traditional form, it was served with hummus, pita triangles and pickled vegetables. There was nothing creative about this combination, but it was done well.  However, the falafel was green on the inside, which is a sign of proper preparation, so they scored points with us on that.

The french fries were definitely the best part of this meal

Next, Liz ordered the burger, which was (allegedly) topped with apricot chutney, blue cheese, and bacon-onion jam. She didn’t expect all of the condiments to be piled onto the burger together.  Consequently, the individual flavors were totally indistinguishable. One thing that struck all of us as odd: when she ordered burger cooked medium-rare, the waitress responded, “We only have two temperatures: pink and not pink.” Cue the eye rolling.

Our friend, Abby, ordered the Pear and Prosciutto Salad and Amanda chose the Mussels in a white wine and garlic broth. The salad boasted an air of simple and effortless tastiness.  The lemon ricotta on the side was an excellent touch.  The mussels were also quite good. They seemed fresh and the broth was delicious.  Amanda’s only quip was that the broth should have been more easily accessible for dipping—meaning there should have been more of it, or the mussels should have been served in a flatter bowl.   Although we did not take issue with the preparation of our meals, we all left feeling relatively uninspired by the food. 

Pear and Prosciutto Salad

Mussels in white wine and garlic broth

The food at Drafting Table doesn’t fit neatly into any category, and perhaps some will see that as part of its charm. Personally, we left feeling a bit underwhelmed by by the menu and baffled by its relation to the architecture decor. As we sit here, we can’t help but wonder whether Howard Roark would have grasped the connection between the blue prints on the wall and the fried pickle platter.


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