Friday, January 27, 2012

Soup and Tuna Tartar c/o Hickory Lane

Over the last couple of weeks I've really been trying to actually start going to some of the restaurants on my resolution list. I have also begun to make dates months in advance for such establishments. It makes me feel productive. On this particular night I met up with C., formerly of pizza,puppy and laundry nights. We don't see as much of one another now that she's commuting to Baltimore for her Master's degree, and this makes me sad. So a few weeks ago we made a plan that we would enjoy a dinner together during her school break. And we did. At Hickory Lane. It's BYO, so I brought my own bottle of Chateau Caroline, courtesy of my father. This is a relatively new place, just open for a month or so. On a Sunday night it wasn't too terribly busy. I walked in just moments after a larger party, or that's what it seemed like, as they were milling around the relatively small entry way. They were all men, so I was confused as to whether any of them was actually the host. That makes no sense. In any case, I was seated right next to that large party, though there were other tables available. I am fascinated by how restaurants choose to seat people. C. arrived and we both decided on what we wanted for our meals. I went with the French Onion soup and tuna tartar with ponzu sauce, wasabi lime ailoi and grilled lavash flatbread. C. ordered the mussels, and I can't remember what else.
The soup came out hot, but wasn't terribly remarkable. My personal preference for the actual soup is always slightly more savory than sweet, but this particular broth had more sweet notes to it. I liked the mountainous slab of cheese coating the whole thing, but struggled to actually consume it all (C. ended up helping in that regard). The tuna tartar was also a little underwhelming. The wasabi lime aioli didn't have as much or any kick as I might have expected. The tuna itself was nicely chopped (cubed?) and had the beginnings of an interesting sauce, but perhaps just needed a tad bit more in my opinion.
So, on the whole, this place seems solid but not all that special. Our waiter was friendly, the place had a dark walled, dimly lit, date kind of vibe to the place. But I guess I was not all that impressed with the quality of the food for the price it was. This seems to be a running theme lately. Have I lost my ability to actually love anything, I wonder?

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