Chez Spencer

Seriously, dude. Don’t get me started. I’m in no mood.

Risotto. Why can’t I quit you?

We had a big client dinner last night at Chez Spencer. Which, in several respects, was quite lovely. You can’t beat a table on the patio there—it feels like you’re in your own private tent on some exotic, French-themed safari.

There were fourteen of us, total. We called several weeks in advance to make the reservations, and we let them know there’d be vegetarian guests in attendance. With a party that large, they required a set menu. So you’d think the chef would have plenty of time to think up something wonderful. And by wonderful, I mean something other than risotto.

Nah. Why bother?

So, my $65 prix fixe got me a butter lettuce salad, risotto, and a Meyer Lemon pot de crème. I have to tell you, I felt a little gypped. Though I realize my venison and steak eating friends got the better side of the bargain.

I’m not writing today to bitch about the food. The salad was quite nice—great dressing, actually. The risotto (“Truffle scented, Honjimeji mushroom with Shaved Parmesan) was tasty, and the pot de crème was decent, though nothing to write home about. In fact, I’ve heard from several people that the food at Chez Spencer is usually good, with occasional off nights. And their list of specialty cocktails is reason enough to return.

I’m just pissed at the risotto. RISOTTO. Risotto, risotto, risotto. It’s not you, Chez Spencer. It’s everyone. Yep, I’m pretty much angry at the entire culinary world for its lack of imagination. My wonderful coworker, Mike, who has heard my rice-rant many times before, saw the dish on the menu and burst out laughing.

For the love of all that’s holy, won’t someone please surprise me? I’m not a marathon runner—I can’t keep carbo-loading like this.



Filed under Major Coin, Rants, Reviews

2 responses to “Chez Spencer

  1. i hear you. risotto can be iffy. these people ought to have at least considered couscous. couscous can take in so many interesting flavours and still be delicate too. flavoured(natural, of course) oils, thats the way to go.

    i also like the lebanese rice side of steamed vermicilli mixed with long grained rice liberally lubricated with clarified butter..(i use my home made ghee!..i add a curry leaf or a few drops of buttermilk for an interesting flavour….it is way better than clarified butter…clarified butter taken a little distance to make it beurre noisette will also make a world of difference)delicately sharp with citrus and with tiny jewelled veggies. rice, by itself, can become stodgy. But it can be lightened up! Quinoa too is all the rage now!!

  2. RawDaddy

    Not all, but most restaurants just don’t take veggies seriously. They look at veggies and vegetarians as second class citizens. There is no reason that a chef should not have 3-4 rockin’ vegetarian, vegan, or even Raw dishes that he can put together in a pinch.

    Risotto and pasta in general, is just saying “I’m lazy, and damn you for being a vegetarian.”

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