Thursday, July 19, 2007

Restaurant Week Meal #2 - Megu

Tuesday night was dinner at Megu, fine Japanese dining.

A mixed review with this one. We probably won't be headed back anytime soon, but the night wasn't a disaster.

Summer Restaurant Week is much more fun than Winter Restaurant Week - the weather is just so much better and in the summer you never have to check your hat, gloves, coat, and scarf.

We arrived early for our reservation, as we waited for our table we enjoyed a cocktail in their lounge. The ambiance of the lounge was great, soft lighting, handmade Japanese paper on the wall, and a DJ.

The main dining room was decorated just as impressively as the bar. In the middle of the room there is an huge Asian inspired ice sculpture sitting above a square water feature with floating rose petals. As you enter the dining room all of the staff shout out a Japanese greeting. Luckily the hostess explained this to me, it was very strange to have people yell as you entered the room. The dining room really had a hip vibe the lines of the furniyure were crisp and modern and the color palette was very neutral with pops of vibrant red as an accent color.

Our waiter looked like just like Luke Skywalker. He didn't seem to embrace restaurant week and the restaurant week special menu was a bit lacking as well. Some restaurants will serve items from their regular menu, in hopes it will give the diner and idea of their food and bring them back when the prices are at their normal rates. Some restaurants offer items that are not on the menu, maybe to entice you in initiall but then steer you away from the lower price selections once you see the regular menu. Megu fell into the second category - the restaurant week menu was not a good representation of their regular menu.

I started with a fried oyster and a fried shrimp while Michael chose the soft shell crab and tempura. Our appetizers came out almost immediately after we ordered, the plates were very warm - it was pretty obvious they had been made ahead of time and were sitting under heat lamps waiting for an order. Both the shrimp and the oyster were in a thick batter and there was a creamy spicy sauce on the side. The batter was not crisp, but kind of soggy especially under the oyster. The taste was fine, but definitely nothing special. Michael's plate looked good, half of a soft shell crab and a tempura coated leaf and shitake mushroom. The tempura was kind of heavy. I just had some really good light and crispy tempura at a sushi restaurant near our house on Saturday night - the tempura at Megu was definitely not as good. The fried leaf didn't offer much taste and the crab also seemed just average.

For dinner I had the miso glazed cod and Michael had the Kobe beef steak. (On the regular menu a 10oz Kobe beef steak was priced at $150! The most expensive steak on the menu was $180!!) My cod was well prepared. The miso glaze was sweet, almost like a honey glaze on top of the tender and flaky fish. On the side was a small fried dumpling. Michael's steak was very good, tender and well prepared. He had a dumpling on the side as well. Both portions were on the small side - I don't think he had a 10oz steak, maybe 6-8 ounces. I don't know what happened with our dinner service, but we had to wait a very long time to get our meal. Our waiter stopped by once to let us know he checked on our order and it was on the way.

Dessert was outstanding. There was no choice, only one dessert was offered, something special just for restaurant week. It was layers of crepes spread with green tea cream. The crepes were tissue paper thin and stacked at least 10 high. The green tea cream had the consistency of a thin mousse and was very green. The flavor was like whip cream with a hint of green tea. It was a light and refreshing way to end the meal.

While the food was fine, it wasn't as impressive as the regular menu prices. But it was a very cool space - if you want to see it go to the bar for a drink and hit the bathrooms on the way out. The bathrooms were great. Low lights, well decorated, very modern fixtures and the sweet serenade of bird noises.