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May 3, 2010

Restaurant Review: Sable Kitchen & Bar

Throughout the course of our lives we experience many firsts—there’s the first crush, the first chase and tackle of the first crush to attain the first kiss, the first forbidden sip of your friend’s parents’ booze, the first night spooning the porcelain throne as a result of abusing your friend’s parents’ booze, etc. (You may or may not have just learned a lot about me…) Some of those firsts are obviously more exciting and welcome than others. As I walked to Sable Kitchen and Bar with my friends Ryan and Evan, I expressed the elevated level of excitement that comes hand in hand with a highly anticipated first visit to a new restaurant. Aside from experiencing new food in a unique setting, I always look forward to these experiences because they provide me with blog ammunition. Unfortunately for Sable Kitchen and Bar, my dining experience was beyond sub par while undoubtedly providing me with a wealth of blog ammunition. In terms of “firsts,” I’d say it was the equivalent of discovering my first gray hair, which I actually may have grown while waiting for the bill.

Okay, on to (bitching about) the food and drink… I ordered the bridal shower cocktail, consisting of vodka, campari, rhubarb syrup and soda water. Although we waited an unacceptable amount of time for our cocktails (and water), it was pretty good—tasty with a punch, as it better have! Next, I ordered the ahi tuna tartare tacos to start. They were not special; under seasoned and boring. Ryan had the five spice pork ribs, which I tasted. The hoisin-sesame glaze was delicious but it was evident that the ribs were not slow cooked. Rather than tender meat effortlessly falling off the bone, there was lots of gnawing going on. Evan had the soft pretzels, which again were boring. I don’t understand why pretzels are on any menu other than sports bars’ or ball parks’. Unless, of course, they are sprinkled with dust from unicorns’ horns, they are just pretzels—how good can they be? Next we ordered the bison short rib sliders, which were actually not completely disappointing. My first bite was delicious—the meat was juicy and the crispy fried onions added nice texture and flavor. If only every bite was that good... Some pieces of bison were dry, lacking glaze and ultimately moisture and flavor, while others were tasty. Each bite begged the question “is this bite going to make me happy or sad?” The answer was always a toss-up. The best item of the evening was the braised pork belly flatbread with apples, white cheddar and molasses barbeque sauce. I do actually recommend this. The pork combined with the sweet apple, the tang of the cheese, and subtle barbeque flavor melded well together. Needless to say, after the first few dishes, the three of us were fighting for the last piece of flatbread.

With regard to service, I felt bad for our server. She was clearly flustered and had too much on her plate. I know this because so did I… Our undersized plates had never been swapped out for new, clean ones. NEVER. If you saw the size of them you would understand. My desire to cut my food was not an option without any room on my tiny plate due to space being taken up by rib bones and pieces of inedible, dry short rib. Being the dainty little flower that I am, this was yet another letdown that amounted to a disappointing dining experience...

I do have one positive thing to say about Sable—the décor, specifically in the bar area, is very chic. Aside from the faux fireplace that belongs in a Viagra Triangle frequenter’s bachelor pad, I really like the black high-top tables, marble bar, and bar wall lined with a harmonious array of bottles.

Sadly, my trip to Sable was a disappointment. Although it pains me to be so harsh, I needed to write my first negative restaurant review some time…

Moral of the Story? My experience at Sable is another example of a not so welcome nor exciting “first.” I'm sure you have a few up your sleeve...

*Photos: The braised pork belly flatbread and the bison short rib sliders

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