Kelly the Culinarian: Food find: Clyde's

Monday, October 29, 2007

Food find: Clyde's

I had heard so many awesome things about Clyde's that I decided to make it my birthday dinner destination when Tim was here. People rave about the atmosphere, the food, etc. Tim and I were a little underwhelmed.

We checked out the Gallery Place location, which is just off the Chinatown metro stop on the red, green and yellow lines. The first reservation we could get was 9 p.m., but we were willing to wait. Even so, we waited when we got there.

The service was not so attentive. It took us a while to order drinks; we ordered the house white that was pretty tasty but not remarkable. Trying to get a second round was impossible. When it came to the food, we stayed pretty basic. I got the smoked ribs with potato salad (I asked for mashed potatoes, but I didn't get it) and baked beans. Tim got the wild mushroom pasta made with assorted mushrooms, tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. I'd love to tell you more about what was actually in the dishes, but the menus online do not sync with what was on the menus in the restaurant.

Here's the deal with the food -- It was nothing special and the portions were not all that generous. My ribs may look like a lot of food, but there was very little meat. The spices were delicious, but the sauces overwhelmed the smokey flavor and spice rub. And they didn't bring any extra napkins or anything for the ribs. The potato salad was disappointing simply because it wasn't what I ordered. I wanted to tell someone but I couldn't flag down a server. Tim's pasta dish was nicely done and had some tasty elements, but it was under seasoned. It also wasn't enough food for the $15 price tag.

As for the famed atmosphere, I felt like I was eating at a nicely decorated Chili's. The rooms were posh with stained-glass chandeliers, but the area was noisy and the crowd was a mix of people enjoying a nice meal with the family and Halloween party-goers complete with inappropriate costumes. It was just a weird combination of people and not the nice dinner I was expecting.

It also took more than an hour and a half for our simple little meal. We didn't get dessert because it was taking so long and our waitress wasn't even the person who brought us our food, check or anything else. For $60, I think we could have gotten a better meal elsewhere.

I was not pleased overall with the dining experience or the food, but I'm sad to admit I'll probably go back because they have a raw bar that I hear is pretty good. Between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., said raw oysters and clams are half off. I have yet to get raw oysters and really want to give it a try, but only if it's half priced and I don't have to wait an hour. It would be more of a bar experience, which I think they have down to a science. Plus oysters must be served on an iced platter within five minutes of opening them, so I hope to give this place one more time to shine.

8 comments:

daphne said...

What a disappointment! The ribs look really tiny in portion. Hope Tim brought you out somewhere nicer after that.

Christy said...

Hey, happy belated birthday ya!~ (I am late with the wishes:)
Hope you had an enjoyable one!!:D

Lydia said...

Washington has so many amazing restaurants, but an equal number that are coasting on reputations built in years past, or are simply overpriced or just mediocre food. Sounds like you found one of those. Too bad.

Erin said...

Happy Birthday. I am sorry you had a bad experience at the restaurant. There is nothing worse than being dissapointed about a place you are excited about.

Asha said...

$60!! That is expensive for two! I hate when waiters ignore and take too long and then expect good tips!! Sorry you had to endure that on your birthday!

Butters and Johnnycakes said...

Wow! The birthday festivities continue. My sister-in-law, who lives in DC, loves Clydes annual Lobster Fest.

Sirisha Kilambi said...

That was bad Kelly.....Maybe we overexpect sometimes hearing a lot of opinions....have certain preconceived notions and end up getting disappointed ........

stay-at-home mum said...

Quite a lot of meals for one birthday celebration! Are you sure you are not A singaporean?