Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Seres Restaurant

1105 NW Lovejoy
Happy Hour: 3 - 7 PM, 3 PM - Closing on Tuesdays

We planned to meet at the doors to Seres around 3:30. One of the benefits of summer vacation is being able to drive downtown and get into places that are typically busy before most people are even off of work. When we arrived, we found a note on the door stating that they were to open at four, due to weekly maintenance. I'm not sure what weekly maintenance includes (a little hesitant to find out, in fact, in case it's related to a recent health inspection) but am a little disappointed in their professionalism if they can't figure out how to take care of business before the restaurant opens at three. I was even more disappointed when we walked in at four and were told that it would be fifteen minutes longer before we could be served food or drinks. Luckily, there was a great toy store around the corner (along with other shops) to keep us occupied during our wait.

Forty-five minutes is a long time to wait around for happy hour (expected at the dinner hour, sure) and if we hadn't been set on writing this review, I'm guessing we would have found something else in the neighborhood.

When we were finally seated, we were the only ones in the bar and were, therefore, getting all sorts of attention. Water, drinks, nicely laid out chopsticks and folded napkins. The presentation was great. In fact, the decor in the whole place is pretty fantastic. Simple, yet fantastic. They've got a few red lanterns, some orchids, a tile wall-hanging. It might not sound that fantastic, but the overall look of this restaurant is clean and aesthetically pleasing.

We started with drinks while looking over the food menu. Specialty cocktails are just six dollars (down from eight) during happy hour. I ordered the Red Lotus. It was heavy on the pomegranate but a great pick for a warm summer day.

The happy hour menu is quite long and contains many vegetarian options as well as a few gluten-free items. With the restaurant name change, they also gained a focus on serving more locally-grown and organic ingredients. I decided on the Moo Shu Sampler which usually comes with all three varieties (vegetable, pork and shrimp) but was made with just veggies for me. It came with three rice pancakes and a small bowl of plum sauce. It was quite similar to the Moo Shu I've had elsewhere but with larger cuts of vegetables (so much so, that you'd actually know what you are eating). I like that, but bit into one-too-many largely cut onions leaving me with an aftertaste that wouldn't go away until late in the evening.

We decided to order a small plate of salad rolls to split. They were nicely presented with a small dob of peanut sauce on the end of each roll. The flavor, however, was less appealing. All the ingredients seemed right...but, the ratio was off. They were a bit too heavy on cilantro which overpowered the rest of the flavors. And, the peanut sauce left a powdery residue behind with each bite. I make peanut sauce from a powder at home (it's quick and easy, right?) and it has never disappointed me like this did. We didn't even finish the plate.

Having been to Seres Restaurant only once (and knowing that I might have skipped right over their best food offerings) leads me to believe that I can't be completely disappointed. The restaurant itself is beautiful, the service was okay, and the food wasn't bad (just the salad rolls...and now I know not to order them again). I've heard that they offer great specials (two-for-one entrees certain days of the week and wine bottle specials on the weekends) and I'll probably be back for dinner another day. For happy hour, though, it doesn't top my list.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Nearly Meets


No comments:

Post a Comment