Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thursday dining: Pastiche


Let me just say, I almost didn't go.  I've been planning on going out tonight all week, but when Thursday finally came, I just didn't want to.

"I'm too tired.  I don't want to get ready.  I just want to relax.  I can go another night.  Maybe I'll make it Friday or Saturday dining instead."

It's not that I don't like eating out.  I do.  I'm just an introvert, and it takes a lot of energy for me to do things like going out.  It took a great amount of energy, so much energy that as I was getting ready, I was quite short with my mom as she tried to help me with my hair.  The thought of going out really stressed me out.  Even now, afterwards, I am completely exhausted, but I want to write this review before I go to bed.

I curled my hair and decided to wear something a little dressy but not too much.  I wasn't going to a fine restaurant, but it was nicer than a casual restaurant.  I did full make-up, though I used a very neutral lip color in order to not look too made up.

You know when you can't decide which picture is the best, so you just decide to use all of them?

I drove out to the restaurant, which was quite a far drive.  The parking lot was quite full.  I had to park a bit away from the restaurant.  I feared the worst, that the restaurant was packed even though it was a weeknight.  I stalled for a bit in my car, working up the courage to actually go inside.  At last, I got out of my car, held my head up, and walked into the restaurant.

The restaurant is called Pastiche, a self-proclaimed "modern eatery" that serves American food.  Inside the restaurant is actually quite impressive.  It looks much fancier than it actually is.  To my surprise, I was one of the few people there.  I don't understand why there were so many cars outside.

I remember the hostess leaning the Happy Hour card against the candle, and I was worried it would burn.  Turns out, though, the candles are all fake!  But they look real at first glance, for sure.  Perhaps it's considered too much of a fire hazard, but I would've preferred no candles over fake candles.  It just cheapened the feeling a bit.

Overall, though, I enjoyed the atmosphere, definitely very modern.  Violet is also my favorite color, so I loved the color scheme.

I wanted something special to drink, but sadly, as I do not drink alcohol, there was nothing they could offer me except soda, tea, or juice.  So, I just ordered a ginger ale.

As for my meal, I decided to try something completely new.  I had never had lamb before, so I ordered the lamb chops and asked for them to be cooked medium.  Not being a big eater, I just ordered the bistro portion.

While I waited for my meal, I was given some bread and butter.  The bread was sourdough, which I don't particularly like, but I ate all three pieces!

The lamb chops came with risotto and asparagus.  I ate the asparagus first since I always try to eat the vegetables first, and then I dug into the lamb chops.  Like, literally, dug in, because those chops were really hard to cut!  I don't know if that's normal or not since I've never had lamb before, but even with my steak knife, I was really struggling.  I wish I could say that I liked it.  It didn't taste bad.  To be honest, it didn't really seem to have much flavor.  Since this is my first time trying lamb, I do not know if that is just how lamb is, but it was really very uninteresting to me.  I admit that I am a non-taster, but I don't think that's the reason for the blandness.  I tried adding some salt, but it didn't seem to help much.  It was also quite touch.  I had to take each bite of lamb with a bit of risotto to help me chew and swallow it down.  The risotto and asparagus tasted good, but the lamb was very boring and tough.

Since the portion was pretty small, I was able to get dessert.  I ordered the Italian lemon cream cake.  It came with a side of raspberry sauce and lemon cream.  I actually really liked it.  I didn't really like the raspberry sauce, but the cake itself and the lemon cream were delicious, very soft and a perfectly sweet flavor.  I could not finish all of it, but I did eat most of it.  It was a great way to end the meal.

I took the first bite and realized I forgot to take a picture!
The service, unfortunately, was very, very slow.  There were not many others in the restaurant, so I do not know why the service was so slow.  It took a long time for the server to take my drink order, then my meal order, then my dessert order, then to finally give me the check.  The food actually came quite quickly, though that might be because a different server brought me my food.  The server who took my order and brought me my check just did not come by quickly or often enough.  He was not very attentive to me at all.  I probably waited over five minutes after finishing my meal before he cleared my plate, then I waited another five minutes before he took my dessert order, and then I had to wait another five minutes just to get my check, then another five before he brought back my card.  In restaurant time, that is quite long!  I probably could've gotten up and walked out on the check before he even noticed.  I'm an honest person, so I of course would never do that, but I just could not believe how slow he was.  Perhaps they were understaffed.  I'm not sure.  Regardless, if that were the case, I would think he would've told me.  I wonder if it is just always this slow.  I was in no rush and so was quite patient, but I had to make a note of it to include in this review.

So, while it had good reviews online, I can't say I am very impressed with Pastiche.  I liked the atmosphere and the dessert, but that really was it.  The food was only decent at best, really quite bland.  The service was slow and inattentive.  I don't think I would ever go again, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.  There is definitely better.  I might've given it three peridots if the service had been better, but the poor service drops my rating to two and a half peridots.  I would not be against going again, but someone else would have to invite me and pay for me.

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