7 Things I Wish the Aristocrat Did Better
I've been procrastinating writing this particular review because of my ambivalence about you. I really love you. I visit you at least once a week. I love your beautiful garden out front. I love the coziness of the big booths and dark wood walls. I love the cheerful outdoor seating. I love the separate pubby-feeling bar area. I love the live music on weekends. I love the black bean burger and the strawberry blues salad. I love that you're mere blocks from my house. I love your permanence, as if you've been there a hundred years and will be there a hundred years more.
Unfortunately, there are also some things I wish you would improve, and this is why I've been procrastinating. I don't want to give you a bad review. So instead, I'm giving you a list of "Needs Improvement." I hope it's constructive.
1. Work on that breakfast thing. If you're going to serve breakfast, please open before 11 on Saturday. That's just too late. Your frittatas and eggs benedict are delicious, but overpriced. $9.19 for a frittata?? This is not outrageous if the meal is perfect, but your English muffin was cool and rubbery and your fruit salad was out of a can. Your prices are up there with Patachou, but it's just not as good. You need to go cheaper OR better. Pick one.
2. Redo the menus. Again. I hate your new menus that show shiny photos of food in a glossy spiral binding. Am I at Applebee's? Please bring back something less corporate.
3. Overhaul the pastas. Some are quite good, but you need to shake it up a little bit. I'd love to see higher quality pasta, less cooking time (the noodles are always a bit on the saggy side) and some lighter, brighter sauces. Please work on that pesto sauce in particular -- it's like glue.
4. Have more specials. It would be great to see some creativity in the kitchen.
5. Offer seasonal fare. I'd love a fresh tomato salad in the summer or a root vegetable stew in the winter.
5. The devil's in the details. The potatoes are a little gummy. The pork chops are a little dry. The vegetable side a little sodden. It would be great to see an overall improvement in prep and ingredients.
6. Do more special events. You had a beer tasting a while back, which was a cool idea. How about more fun things like that? I'd be all over some wine tastings, or even a class taught by a local wine expert.
7. Coffee. Sorry, it's just not good. Can you please change vendors?
Thanks for listening, and see you soon.
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