My beloved Underdog and I were super-psyched about trying Pattigeorge's on Longboat Key for our anniversary dinner last weekend after receiving glowing recs from a friend and viewing their uber precious-sounding menu online. Considering the price point of this resto, my expectations were somewhat high as far as both venue and cuisine. After the fact, I'm not sure there was enough "specialness" going on here to warrant mostly $30+ entree pricetags.
The ambiance was more casual than expected, but in no way unpleasant. We were seated at a waterfront table which was sagging to the right at a 15 degree angle (not sure if it was the table or the floor) that another couple had rejected prior to our arrival. We accepted it because we (the "royal we", meaning "I") wanted a window seat, but eventually found that it was necessary to perch our flutes of sparkling wine on the window sill to ensure that they weren't toppled by the tilt. The scene:
Cold bread with olive oil and herb dipping sauce was garden variety and didn't prove worthy of the stomach space it would've taken up.
We started by sharing an order of the Pork & Prawn Dim Sum (Shrimp and Pork Gyoza Steamed with Aged Rice Vinegar Dipping Sauce), which was practically falling apart from over-steaming when presented to us and not particularly inspiring from a flavor standpoint.
I ordered Crispy Bahamian Lobster Tails. It was our anniversary, after all...and as everyone knows, a lobster dinner almost always ensures that a woman's clothes will fly off by the end of the evening (okay, maybe that rule only applied to a few round-heeled girls I heard about back in the '80s whom, obviously, I never would've associated with). These tails were pretty much as food-gasmic as one might expect considering it's almost impossible to go wrong when coupling two of the greatest tastes and textures on the planet...sweet crustacean and light tempura breading. Asian Slaw, Red Bliss Potatoes and Honey Mustard Sauce accompaniments were standard issue with points deducted for limp, room-temp slaw.
My better half, having thoroughly gorged himself at lunch, went "dainty" with a smaller and quite reasonably priced prix fixe offering of 4 ounces of cooked-to-order beef tenderloin, veggie and a better than average gazpacho which tasted garden-fresh and was adorned with a charming sprinkling of pine nuts.
I found the dessert menu to be a tad drab...especially considering the fact that I went in with my heart set on the Banana Bread Pudding advertised on Pattigeorge's website which we learned was no longer available (in fact, our server said it hadn't been available for TWO years despite the fact that it had never been removed from the online menu). All the usual suspects were there...cheesecake, tiramisu and sorbet, but nothing that tempted me enough to warrant the calories. Dogboy couldn't resist the lure of Key Lime Pie, however. Yes, it's been done to death, but this was a fine, classic rendition.
Final word: No serious complaints. We received nice service here and the view was lovely, but there are many more scintillating options in the Longboat Key area for the price. We left wishing we'd gone back to Harry's Continental Kitchen, Blue Marlin or Bridge Street Bistro...all better, more creative and less expensive.
My blog entries contain the unmitigated, and sometimes unforgiving, dining truths and perceptions I experience as an ordinary restaurant patron. Every meal I post about has been fully paid for by one of the participating members of my personal dining party. I do not engage in the gratis blogger freebie dining events I'm constantly invited to attend and never will. If I ooze font-like love for a restaurant in my blog, it's because they totally earned it…not because they gave me free food or knew I was going to share the experience on the internet.