Restaurant week is one of my favorite local events, so we decided to take advantage of it and try another spot: F. Scott's. When I last came here about 4 years ago with my parents, we sat in the jazz bar and had snacks and cocktails, and I really enjoyed it. I really like a place where you can get a good meal and listen to some good music that isn't an open mic night (Should I mention how much I detest open mic nights?). So we headed on down to Green Hills on Friday at rush hour to check out our local jazz joint.
F. Scott's is what you'd expect from a upscale white tablecloth restaurant. They have valet parking, polite and attentive waitstaff, and very neutral non-offensive decor. This is a place where you can take your parents for a nice dinner; they will find something good to eat, they will enjoy the music, and they won't complain that it's too loud. Steve and I sat in the regular dining room, which is separate from the Jazz bar, but we could still hear the music wafting through the space.
They started us off with some warm bread from the kitchen. It was a nice touch that the butter was already soft at room temperature. I have no idea why every restaurant doesn't serve soft butter instead of those frozen little bricks. The bread was delicious and I especially enjoyed the focaccia with cheese on top.
Their cocktail and wine list was rather extensive and pricey. I went with one of my favorite old standbys, a Kir Royale. I got hooked on this little number when visiting Paris during college, and sipping on it again gave me flashbacks (in the good way). They were out of Steve's first beer of choice so he opted for a Belhaven Scottish Ale that was very delicious. I think being out of the first choice beer was fortuitous for Steve, because he now has a new favorite.
Our first course on the menu was a smoked tomato soup with shrimp sausage and a sweet corn drizzle. This was a very confident first course. The potatoes in the soup were still firm and provided just the right amount of texture. The soup itself had a smokey-spice about it that made me want to lick the plate. But honestly, the shrimp sausage was the best part. The sweetness of the shrimp paired with the smoke of the soup was just perfect. This was a very well crafted dish.
Unfortunately, I was not impressed with the second course: the summer squash salad. This was basically raw squash shaved in very thin curly-cues with a drizzle of vinaigrette topped with crispy beets and goat cheese. The squash lacked the flavor I was expecting but the beets provided a nice crispness. The goat cheese was a wise compliment to the crispy beets, but it just didn't save the dish for me.
We waited for what seemed like an inordinately long time between the salad and the entree. I understand taking time between courses, but this was just too long of a pause considering the pace of a prix fixe meal. Also, during this time no waitstaff came over to check on us, which I thought was rather odd.
For his entree, Steve ordered the pork shoulder in Goo Goo Cluster BBQ sauce served on top of a jalapeno corn cake. Now, Steve has a weak spot for Goo Goo Clusters (they are his favorite candy) so when I saw this on the menu it was a no-brainer what he was going to order. The pork itself was fall-apart soft and absolutely perfect. But the sauce itself was just TOO sweet for me. It was made with candy, and it tasted as such. There was no way I could finish this whole plate, but Steve felt otherwise. He loved the sweetness and cleaned his plate. Takes all kinds.
For my entree I chose the trout with peaches and green beans. I have to say the dish was served beautifully; they really hit the mark on presentation here. My favorite part was how they removed the trout skin, crisped it up like a chip and served it on top of the fillets. The peach went really well the the trout, which makes me wonder, is there anything out there that can't be enhanced by peaches? I DARE YOU TO FIND IT.
I have probably never said this before (and hopefully never again) but dessert was my least favorite part of the meal. We decided to do an add-on and order up something sweet, because: DATE NIGHT. We ordered the peach panna cotta with basil pound cake and when it came out, it looked beautiful. This was one of the prettiest looking desserts I've seen. But when I put it in my mouth, it was just all sorts of weird. The panna cotta itself didn't have much peach flavor and the basil cake was very dry and didn't quite go with anything else. On top, they put a mound of blackberry sorbet. The sorbet had a very overpowering flavor and when you got that on your fork you really couldn't taste much of the delicate peach. This missed the mark for me, and Steve felt that it was trying to be unnecessarily complex.
Our restaurant week trip to F. Scott's was rather inconsistent. Some dishes were spot on, others just fell flat. The service was the same. While we did have to wait a long time to get our entree with no one checking in on us, our waiter was nice enough to comp my after-dinner decaf espresso when it didn't come out in time to enjoy with dessert. To be fair, I feel like I should go back and sample offerings off the regular menu and the jazz bar menu before I pass any final judgements. I will also make sure to stick with a simple, chocolate dessert.