Thursday, October 8, 2009

First Bite: Whiskey Kitchen

Posted By on Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 1:10 PM

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Last month, Carrington told you all about the opening of Whiskey Kitchen, the first outpost in Chris Hyndman's M Street project along McGavock Street. Early Bitester reports were primarily positive with the only complaint being about the music volume. That's an easy fix, so I figured I'd check it out.

Expect a full review to probably show up our dead tree edition some time soon, but at first blush the joint has potential. The ambiance of the restaurant hasn't changed too much since its days as Agave with the basic substitution of wood for adobe and 100 bottles of whiskey for 100 bottles of tequila. There is a slightly disconcerting master server computer station constructed of huge railroad ties that looms over the corner of the dining room like some sort of cowboy DJ booth, but it was easy to look past.

Actually lots of things were easy to overlook in the face of the friendly and attentive service their staff offered to me and the surrounding tables I observed during their startup process. Right there on the menu was was my first sign. Emblazoned over the list of ultra high end bourbons and whiskeys was the disclaimer that "Whiskey is served in a glass with two cubes of ice unless otherwise requested." That's just how I like it, but I thought it was darned courteous to point that out in advance.

When I ordered a glass of water with lemon before my lunch (the cheap bastard cocktail), my server delivered it and then came scurrying back to my table with a bev nap. "That lemon has a lot of seeds in it. I just thought I'd warn you before you squeezed it and give you a napkin to put the seeds in." Dang, I don't get that kind of service from my own mother. And I tip her way more than 20%.

After just one meal, I can't comment too much about the food. I asked what was popular so far and my server recommended Fire Roasted Stuffed Jalapenos, Scott's Famous Chicken Fried Chicken and the Dublin Pub Fish and Chips. I wasn't hungry enough for an appetizer with lunch and I make it point to avoid anything that uses the word "chicken" as an adverb, so I went with the Fish and Chips.

At $13.00, it was definitely a pricey lunch, but not necessarily a bad deal. The serving was enormous and served over a heaping helping of perfectly salted shoestring fries in one of those huge wooden salad bowls that reminded me of the best of 1970's dining. It would have been a perfect size to share, and the nicely crispy beer battered cod and dill tartar sauce would not be difficult to find takers for. Unfortunately I was dining alone, and it wasn't really much of a carry-home meal. Of course that just meant I ate too much. Again.

Go check out Whiskey Kitchen and report your findings back here in the comments. If you need somebody to share your fish and chips, call me.

* Bonus Bites Contest-I have an airplane-size bottle of whiskey for the first commenter who can tell me where the accompanying photo comes from and any of the story behind it. (Hint-Nicki is not eligible.)

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