Thursday, January 29, 2015

Restaurant Redemption: Bartini

For the past couple years, I have posted a ton of restaurant reviews. Some good, some bad, many indifferent. When my blog began to pick up some momentum, some restaurants that I've graded low, or maybe not so low, have contacted me in various ways. Some are angry, and some want to know how they can improve my experience.

Restaurant Redemption is a small series I've created that will allow me to give those restaurants who are keeping up with their social media (notably, my blog) and have made an attempt to rectify a poor or mediocre dining experience. For the restaurants that have contacted me, I'm giving it another dining go. For the most part, I will try a different dish and make note of the previous observations about the experience as a whole.

When I went to Bartini before, my main complaint was how loud it was. The food was good, and I had an overall good impression. But, Bartini wasn't satisfied with just "good," and I received an email from the chef:
Candace
I would like to apologize for your experience at Bartini, and thank you for the honest feedback. We would like to invite you to Bartini twice again. Yes twice. Your first visit back I would like to invite you into our kitchen, where you will be able to experience our fresh concept. Then, return to have fun with friends and experience Bartini for what we have intended.
Thank you once again for your feedback.
Joe Price
Chef
Chef Price has been patient as I've been bopping around to new restaurants, but I recently had the chance to go back. With his sincere and honest comment, I was totally happy to try Bartini out again. It was clear they want patrons to really try their food and appreciate honest feedback. I can't ask for more.

While it was more of quick decision, and I didn't have a chance for two visits, I did shoot Chef Price a quick email asking what he suggested. One of his favorites was the coconut shrimp tacos. OK, sounds tasty.

When I went to the restaurant this time, it was much more mellow. No loud noise - maybe that's saved for later - and I was able to speak with my dining partner. Yes. We ordered the suggested appetizer of the shrimp tacos.

[FYI, he also recommends the pesto flat iron and jalapeno-maple galzed salmon and the coconut breaded pork if you're looking to visit any time soon.]

Bartini RedemptionThe tacos were topped with a fresh apple-mango slaw that added a nice fresh crunch. The shrimp had a tasty coconut breading, and the limes accompanying each taco were perfect to add just a touch of sour to even out the flavor.

I could not stop staring at the delicious slider options. The crab sliders, meatball sliders and buffalo sliders were calling my name. So Brittany and I ordered all three and split them. Each order comes with a mound of potato chips, so we had quite the impressive spread after the three orders.

Bartini RedemptionThe buffalo sliders had deep-fried breaded chicken tossed in Frank's red hot, blue cheese and a mini brioche bun. These babies have some kick. But in the best possible way. I just need the waitress to leave a pitcher at my table next time. Love that flavor combo, and these were executed perfectly. Simple. Tasty.

Bartini RedemptionThe crab sliders have a remoulade sauce and lettuce and also share that brioche bun. They were lighter than the other two options, but also quite milder in comparison. Still good. A nice satisfying bite.

Bartini RedemptionAnd the meatball sliders were my favorites, I think. They were topped with a pesto ricotta. The meatball itself was flavorful and was seasoned well, but the ricotta really sold it for me. Truthfully, ricotta on anything makes me happy. While each component was simple, the flavors together were great.

On Wednesdays, I believe you can order $2 sliders, so for the love of god, go to that. You can try all of these without having three separate orders and a giant mound of potato chips. I wish they did this every day because I think I'd go more often.

So, my experience with Bartini this time around was much quieter, and the meal I had was quite tasty. I appreciate the updated menu options, and the meal I had was simple and delicious. They're still new, so I think they're still finding their way a bit. But, I know I had a tasty meal.