Tin 202 has finally opened.
We first heard from Tin 202 back in January, when they began restoring the tin ceilings and renovating the space. Each month, we'd see a few updates on Facebook. By March, the interior looked beautiful and new chandeliers were installed. By May, they had taps. Beer was imminent. We had updates; communication was impeccable through May. At the end of the month, they showed finished chairs in a gorgeous dining room and said that soon, happy people would be in them. It was projected to open summer 2014. It looked ready to go.
Then three months passed. Not a single update.
In August, they posted a photo from Sysco that said "Welcome Tin 202," whatever that is supposed to mean. A few people commented "when are you opening?" since it seemed like they were so close months ago, then this random photo. No response.
Another three months go by.
And today, a staff of shiny happy people are smiling, welcoming visitors to their soft opening 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. for lunch for the next two weeks.
Tin 202 became a running joke. Whenever people would mention if it would open, I would scowl, angry that their customers have been left in the cold with no updates. Communication is so key to any operation. And instead of falling off the earth, why would they not let us know what was going on? Instead, they let people wonder if it would ever open and lose faith in the operation, rather than building excitement.
But today, they're open - soft open, at least. They are a real place. And after all those months of build-up, I'm not so sure it was worth it.
The building is beautiful. The tin ceilings, the dark wood, the white buttoned servers. It's like a speakeasy, and I dig the vibe. It's a little small, with just about five or so four-tops and four two-tops.
Our server was a bit nervous, but he was just fine. We ordered an appetizer of prosciutto wraps. While I thought this might be a little fancy, it instead looks like something someone would serve at a luncheon. I assumed with the toothpicks that I could pick it up and eat it. Nope. The prosciutto is thick, making it chewy and hard to bite through. So I mangled it with my fork and butterknife instead. The mozzarella inside? Small cubes. I assumed it would be fresh - not necessarily made in house, but fresh at least. Suggestion: Thinner prosciutto - so it's like a delicacy - and fresh mozzarella.
For my entree, I went with a filet sandwich, which had filet medallions, caramelized onions and horseradish cream on a toasted kaiser bun.
What I was expecting, I'm not quite sure. But it is kind of odd to eat like a steak on bread. The meat, underseasoned. And overcooked. If I ask for medium, I want to see a pink center. It was a little chewy. And the sauce - almost none to speak of. So, no, it wasn't bad. But there just isn't much flavor. Also, the concept is a little weird.
One friend had the Chicken Chesapeake (chicken, house crab mixture, bacon and cheddar cheese on ciabatta), which he noted was kind of dry, with overcooked chicken and a lack of sauce.
Another had the pulled pork sandwich and found the sauce not great with an underseasoned, overcooked meat.
Another had the chicken gyro and liked it, though the tzatsiki sauce was on it, despite her asking for no dairy.
As we received our checks, I was a little unhappy with a $17 bill ($13 for the sandwich and $2 for my part of the appetizer) .... plus $1.25 for water. Tap water. What? WHAT? A soda is $1.99, and tap water is $1.25. Sigh. I just spent $20 for a mediocre lunch.
The charging for water just rubs me the wrong way - like they're trying to get every last dime out of you. And I'm kind of over mediocre restaurants serving mediocre food. Give me something different. Or, if you're doing things I've seen before - at least make them good. More seasoning, more attention to cooking detail, better ingredients and more thought into items.
EDIT: The owner has reached out and said the charging for water was a glitch and was resolved that first day. They do NOT charge for water anymore. Expect Tin 202 to be next on my Restaurant Redemption list =] Looking forward to trying their dinner.