It's always a difficult task trying to find new, but most importantly GOOD restaurants to go to. Everyone has their own preferences and own tastes, which leads them to have their own personal list of their go-to restaurants for weekly meals. For me, I have a few good places I know of, but I am always searching for more. Sometimes these explorations lead me to find a diamond in the rough and sometimes they confirm the fact that I should just stick with what I know. Its a risk of course; to go with something fresh and unproven, but that's the great thing about trying something new. From this thinking, I decided to try the restaurant, Select, that had gotten pretty good reviews on Urbanspoon. Now, usually I trust Urbanspoon and am agreeable after the meal with the percentage of people who enjoy the particular restaurant (Select received a like of 82%). However, this was not the case for Select. Formally known as Cafe Select (don't ask me why they got rid of the Cafe, but I think it's because they are trying to reinvent themselves), this restaurant is of a French style cuisine.
|Cold bread topped with cheese and soft butter|
When my friends and I first entered Select, we noticed it was very dimly lit as I felt as if I could barely see. The restaurant had a fine-dining feel to it. The atmosphere had an older vibe to it as much more mature people seemed to be dining with us.
For an appetizer, I decided to go with the Shrimp Etouffee composed of simmered shrimp, Cajun spices and risotto cakes (priced at $13.00). To say the least, this was not a great start to the meal. The risotto balls seemed to be undercooked, as there was a crunchy texture when biting into rice. However, I was able to appreciate the nice, spicy Cajun flavors and the shrimp were cooked nicely. Yet, for being an appetizer it was still very small. My companion decided on the Gnocchi Fondue ($15.00); a Fontina cheese and white wine sauce with a small portion size of mixed fried gnocchi, asparagus, and prosciutto wrapped apples.
|Gnocchi Fondue: fontina cheese and white wine sauce with asparagus, gnocchi|
and prosciutto wrapped apples
For my main course I chose the Branzino ($26.00), which was a pan roasted European fillet of Sea Bass topped with some wilted greens and a side of potatoes. The fish was nicely cooked and it seemed to flake right off the skin. The potatoes were very nicely seasoned and the greens added a nice creamy but a fresh texture. The whole dish was also brought out hot. But the entire dish was overall too greasy for my liking. The sun dried tomato and mustard dressings accompanied by the olives and red pepper Aioli felt out of place and the whole dish did not seem to cohesively combine together. The presentation was very sloppy as well; the chef clearly did not spend time to make this dish look attractive as there was sauce all over the plate.
|Branzino: Seabass with potatoes|
One of my friend decided to try the Duck Confit Macaroni (priced at $17.00), which consisted of Gruyere, Emmental and blue cheese along with a shredded duck pieces. He stated that the bland macaroni tasted (and probably was) like it was from a package and that there was little duck to be seen. Another friend purchased the Select burger (priced also at $17.00), which was an all beef burger topped with black truffle cheddar and all the normal fixings. She said the burger tasted average and that the bun was WAY too big for the size of the patty.
|Select Burger with a side of fries and a side salad|
The service we received was pretty standard and nothing above average. We were greeted, our order was taken; but the food did seem to take longer than it should have or maybe I was just hungry.
All in all, I can honestly say I did not have a good experience at Select. The service seemed to be average, the food was definitely below average and the atmosphere was nothing special. The prices of Select were one of its major flaws; I found that the average price of food here was way too much for the quality I received. The good reviews received were nothing I experienced and I do not think that I will be back.
If you would like to try Select for yourself and make your own opinions, once in a while on the website, Groupon, they sell $50.00 worth of dine-in food and drinks for only $25.00. This is not including taxes and gratuity. Not a bad deal, not bad at all!