5450 W Lovers Ln # 225
Dallas, TX 75209-4296
Another year, another Restaurant Week over... Our last destination for RW 2010 was Bijoux, an upscale French restaurant tucked behind the Inwood Theater on Inwood and Lovers.
They usually only offer prix fixe menus starting at around $90+ a person, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to go without paying so much $$. I was excited about going, but had my hesitations. I've heard that the food was good, but not worth the full price. So I guess it's good I was able to get a reservation for RW. Availability was limited. I called the first day RW reservations opened up and was only able to get 8:30PM for a party of 8. A little late than I wanted, but oh well.
A week before going, I went online and read some reviews. I got scared... The reviews from this year were all pretty terrible. Basically, the food is pretty good, and the service was horrid....slow, inconsistent, and snooty. The average age of the clientele is like 50+...my group and I are all at least 25 years younger... We'll see what happens I guess! :/
Also, every review says that even with reservations, they make you wait 20-30 minutes to be seated. Our reservation is already pretty late, at 8:30, so I made sure we got there earlier to hopefully not wait as long. Didn't really work. We arrived at 8:20...10 minutes before the reservation. The hostess says our table is not ready yet and we should wait at the bar. I use the term "bar" loosely....it was REALLY tiny...we were basically standing in a skinny little hallway. I asked her how long it would be, and she tersely replied "I really can't say"....and that was it! NOT really friendly at all.
So we stood around and waited...several groups walked in while we waited, some got seated immediately...and others also had to wait. But no one waited as long as we did. I went back to the hostess around 8:35 and asked for an update. Again, wasn't so nice, then ran off to talk to someone about something else. WTF...
So I take a look around the room. Obviously they were waiting for the big table in the middle to open up, but there
were several smaller tables open next to each other. After she returned I asked if they can put some tables together. She didn't seem happy but ran off to check. Came back and said "No. We can't put anything together." Period. WOW....WHAT friendly service! Seriously, at least be a little nicer!
Finally, we were seated...23 minutes after our reservation time. I was pretty starving by this time. It took them another 10 minutes to bring us menus and pour water. Geez! And the service was inconsistent...only 1 guy out of our group ordered sparkling water and everyone else just wanted flat. A different waiter came out and started pouring sparkling water for ALL! I was like WHOA ...no no.
We finally ordered...
and the bread came...
We were also served an Amuse Bouche:
Cous cous, pecans, citrus balsamic sauce. The presentation was very pretty and the cous cous was cooked well. I liked the flavors as well. But it was sooo difficult to eat! Hard to get all the cous cous onto a fork...should've put it all into a spoon and then serve. And no one got pecans on their plate. Weird...
White Corn Soup (Divine Goat Cheese Froth, Chive, Togarashi). The soup was poured at the table. It was delicious! Smooth, creamy, and sweet from the corn. I wish there were corn bits in it, but it was still very tasty.
Crispy Pork Belly (English Peas, Baby Carrots, Sauce Chasseur). This was my appetizer. I had decided on this weeks ago when the menu was posted online. Love me some pork belly! It was awesome. Crispy, fatty, juicy, tender...the flavor was great. Definitely the best appetizer of the night. The only complaint was that the peas were undercooked and kind of hard.
Tagliolini (Grape Tomatoes, Eggplant, Zucchini). This was some sort of pasta. To tell you the truth, I don't really remember what it tasted like...not memorable. But I remember thinking the pasta was cooked pretty well.
The optional (Central Market 4th Course):
Sauteed Gnocchi (Tomato Fondue, Haricots Verts, Basil Air). Just FYI...Haricots Verts is just the fancy way of saying string beans...hahaha.I had 1 more coupon so I got the gnocchi. I really liked the tomato sauce. My friend compared it to the sauce in a pizza roll. hahaha. In a good way! It was yummy. The gnocchi was very light but a little too soft for my preference. The basil air was totally cool. Lots of basil flavor.
Pan Seared Prawns (Heirloom Tomato, Chorizo Vinaigrette, Watercress). A friend of mine ordered this as an extra dish. The plating was really pretty and the prawns were huge! I got to sample a bite. The prawns were a little fishy tasting and slightly overcooked, but the tomato and chorizo were really good.
Braised Short Rib (Roasted Garlic Pomme Puree, Asparagus, Veal Jus). I decided on this instead of the pork tenderloin. It was super tender and paired really well with the asparagus. I wasn't a huge fan of the pomme puree, it kind of made a hard shell on the outside and wasn't anything amazing. The crust on the short rib was a little salty but the puree was able to balance that a little bit. I liked the short rib...but I should've gotten the pork...
Smoked Salmon (Peach Glaze, Creamy Polenta, Snap Peas). This was a nice size piece of fish, cooked well. I'm just not a fan of smoked salmon...it's the smoky flavor or something. But on the whole it was a good dish. The polenta was quite light, didn't feel heavy like it normally does. The peach glaze was super sweet...I think they need to tweak that a bit...tone it down.
Roasted Pork Tenderloin (Red Potato Salad, Stone Ground Mustard, Pickled Red Onion). This was definitely the best dish of the night. The pork was cooked perfectly...tender and juicy. The mustard sauce was just right, not overpowering the rest of the food. The pickled onions were a great touch, the combination with the pork was amazing! And the potato salad was definitely better than my pomme puree. This was delicious!!
Pesto Risotto (Basil, Pine Nuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano). I find risotto to be too heavy for an entree...it should only be allowed to be an appetizer. It's just wayyy too heavy. This had tons of basil flavor which was good. But the rice was undercooked and too much garlic and just wayy too much cheese and cream. It was too much. I think it would've been better as a side dish or something.
After dinner we were served an intermezzo of fruit sorbet. It was a little strange to have it AFTER the entree but I guess they wanted us to cleanse our palates before dessert. It was either guava or papaya sorbet with some sort of cracker/biscotti crumbles. Everyone had their own opinions on it, but I liked guava better. The papaya tasted weird to me.
The service has been pretty slow...by the time the desserts arrived it was around 10:30PM.
Valrhona Chocolate Dome (Cherries, Lime Gastrique, Pistachio Ice Cream). I got the chocolate of course. The dome was pretty cool looking. It was a chocolate mousse dome on top of some sort of cookie and covered with chocolate ganache. The cookie was a bit hard, but the mousse and ganache was fantastic! Thick and creamy and super chocolatey. I liked it a lot. The pairing with the pistachio ice cream was also really nice. The only thing I didn't like was the cherries...that's that dark smear you see on the plate. It was sooo sour...i didn't care for it at all.
Caramel Cheesecake (Black Mission Figs, Vanilla Caramel, Honey Ice Cream). The size was pretty big. I liked it....the texture and flavors were all very good. It wasn't super sweet, in fact, it had a hint of saltiness. The salt with the caramel was a lovely combination. The ice cream however was disgusting, I thought it tasted like feet? blehhh...
Overall, it was true to all the reviews I read online. Good food, bad service. I do have to say that the service wasn't super terrible, but for an upscale restaurant, they really need to do MUCH better. For example, a friend of mine asked for a straw at the beginning of the dinner and never got it... Also, the waiter came out and filled my friend's glass (with the sparkling water) with flat at one point. He had to tell them to give him a new glass. And the bathroom wasn't kept up well...that was a big no no.
The food was excellent for the most part, but yea, I would not pay full price for it. They split our checks with no problems, that's always a plus now. haha. And they also gave us more goodies with our check. From right to left: Russian tea cookie, caramel candy, mint chocolate truffle, sugar cookie, peach jelly, madeleine.
If you don't really care for good service, I would say go try it out for RW next year. Otherwise, I wouldn't waste my time...
Quality of Food:
Value (for RW):
~~ CHOMP CHOMP ~~