A couple Friday nights ago, the huz and I went out to dinner at The Ravens Club. I had read that the restaurant recently revamped its menu and hired a new Execute chef, so I thought it would be fun to give Ravens Club another go for dinner. Really, I’ve only had dinner there once, with mixed reviews. Since my first time dining there, I’ve stopped by for drinks several times, and a couple times for brunch.
It’s definitely one of the most romantic dinner spots in town. Love the vibe. I took the below picture during a mixology class a few months ago when the place was empty, but rest assured, there was standing room only when we went on Friday night (with a reservation) for dinner!
We shared four small plates from the new menu.
1. Farmhouse Board, with the kitchen’s selection of two meats, two cheese, and accoutrements. This was my favorite small plate. We had a blue cheese/gorgonzola-type cheese and a soft mustardy cheese, along with a pair of fabulous smoked meats – loved them all. The grainy mustard on the side was also quite addicting. Rating: 8.5/10
2. Black Bier BBQ Scallops with rosemary, garlic, worcestershire with jalapeño grits. I’m happy to report that Ravens Club has vastly improved their grits since our last visit (they were chunky and poorly seasoned last time!) But with a name like “jalapeño grits” I was expecting some heat, which was entirely lacking. The scallops were delicious, and prepared very well, but I’d hoped for a bigger punch of flavor with the seasonings than what was delivered. Rating: 7/10
3. Tuna Crudo – pickled peppers, cilantro, arbequina olive oil, ginger, sea salt. Unfortunately this was the low point of the meal for me. I actually found this dish to be inedible. The heat that was lacking in the grits dish above was most certainly present here, and completely burnt out my taste buds! And I’d like to think I have a relatively high tolerance for (and enjoyment of) heat in dishes. The amount of acid was also completely overwhelming, most likely from the pickled peppers. I’d say rinse and lay off the pickled peppers, puh-lease!! A couple bites, then I was done. Rating: 1/10
4. Braised Beef Empanadas with Horseradish Cream. Fortunately our final dish was a winner! And also the most affordable! The flaky pastry was stuffed with a savory braised beef filling that we just loved. Would definitely get this one again. Rating: 8/10
For some reason every time I go to Ravens Club, I drop the ball on ordering cocktails (for which they are known!). I prefer wine over cocktails with dinner, and thus ordered wine. I’d planned on having a second drink, which would have been a cocktail from the schmancy cocktail menu, but we ended up moving on before the dessert course occurred so cocktails just didn’t happen this time!
Dessert was from Whole Foods. A mini brownie cheesecake and pistachio cannoli for me!
As is usual, our service at Ravens Club was again of pretty high quality.
I love the “idea” of many dishes on Ravens Club’s new menu but I still believe there is room for improvement in terms of executing their unique menu.
Our first dinner at Ravens Club occurred not long after their grand opening, and so I was more lenient with regards to reviewing their cuisine. However, now Ravens Club has had some time to revise their menu and work on the snafus, I haven’t seen a ton of improvement in terms of the food I’ve tried. It’s still all rather hit or miss.
I do think that the menu has improved, in that the menu is now more ENTICING. The dishes are things that make my mouth water and make me want to order them. Scallops. Cheese. Empanadas. Gnocchi. Pork Belly. Buttermilk Fried Chicken. (Still not quite brave enough for the marrow, however!).
- Food: 6.5/10
- Dranks: 8.5/10
- Service: 8.5/10
- Atmosphere: 5/5
- Bang for the Buck: 2/5
Overall: 7.6/10 Noms
..Still working on coming up with some sort of consistent, objective rating scale for my restaurant reviews. Stay tuned!