Sunday, August 30, 2009

Un-BEE-leviable (Redux)

WTF? 30+ years without a bee sting. Now, within a two month span, I get stung TWICE!! FU bee. Out at Rosaryville, a bee landed on my arm and struck. From my July experience, I kinda knew what to expect. But I also thought I might get off easier this time. No dice. Elephantiasis of the friggin' forearm. Popeye the bloody sailor man. Evan is into this whole seven (or eight) minute abs thing. Me? I'm into the arm muscle a day. It's pretty tender and sore and itchy and scratchy and ugly. A buddy tells me most people get stung two or three times in their lives.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Liberty Tavern

Gonna try to be more regular with food postings...even if they end up fragmented or incomplete or not neatly packaged.

On a beautiful Sunday evening, we ended up in Clarendon around dinnertime. Hoping to try Eventide, we found it shuttered for Sunday dinner and opted for Liberty Tavern. The result? A generally mixed experience.

Most notably, service was pretty lacking. Sat at a four top upstairs for about fifteen minutes before anyone acknowledged us. Waiter reported one special for the night and couldn't spit it out without looking at his cheat sheet after mentioning each component. We requested a dessert menu so one person at the table could decide if she wanted to save her appetite for a starter or dessert. Getting that menu took about five minutes. These little things added up to a less than stellar service experience.

SVR's rum drink did not taste good. Very, very sweet. Tasted a bit like chlorine and bottled Margarita mix. Never mind that the $9 drink came to the table in a glass only about 2/3 of the way full. Seemed an awful value (decided before tasting how unpleasant it was) and I mentioned the paltry pour to the waiter. He assured me it wouldn't taste good if there was more in the glass. What?! Does the greater liquid surface area interact with the air to make the already bad drink taste worse? Very odd.

Bread basket was really solid. The meal's highlight??

I had some shortribs to start. The meat was very pleasant. The savory sauce and bread made for a nice, gooey, sloppy, rich bite. The heavy meat was paired with some fruit and sauce I imagine was meant to cut the meat's richness. The accompaniment was melon and a melon sauce. It tasted of simple syrup or Karo syrup. Painful in the mouth kinda sweet. Too bad, as the meat was very good.

I had skate for a main. Pan fried nicely. Tender fish. Sides (though Spaetzle and potato seemed a little heavy for a summer evening) worked well. Again, though, the sauce (raspberry this time?) tasted like candy. It was sweeter than I tend to prefer dessert. Very odd.

Sooooo...I really wanted to like Liberty Tavern. I thought the menu looked thoughtfully composed and smartly balanced. Service and a really heavy hand with, of all things, sugar left me feeling disappointed. For what we paid (about $60/person), I wanted something a bit better.