Harry And Eddies Restaurant

Treadwell’s Travels – Harry And Eddies, A Second Serving, Lacking Service

As you read in my earlier blog about Harry And Eddie’s, in Hinsdale, Illinois, on my first visit a couple months back, the food was Fabulous, yet the service missed the mark completely. Sadly, the second visit was very similar.

On my second visit to Harry and Eddie’s, I wanted to create a similar situation for fair comparison, so I choose to go at the same time and sit in the same seat as before. The bartender from the previous visit was apparently not there, so I was greeted by a bartender mentioned during my first visit. (She) greeted me with “Welcome Back!” which instantly led me to believe that this visit was going to be different and with much better service than  the first experience. Unfortunately, this was not the case. While she crafted my cocktail, I selected appetizers not tried previously. Pei Mussels was my first selection and I was not disappointed. Fresh and plump sitting in a minimal broth that was flavored with cilantro and pieces of pork belly, the entire bowl topped with fries that were crisp and flavorful.

Some crusty bread to soak up the remainder of the broth would have been Fabulous, but unfortunately the bartender was no where to be found. Later when she returned, the bowl of leftover broth was cleared without an offer for more bread. The next item was a a bowl of Tomato Basil, and a bowl of French Onion soup (I like my soups). The Tomato Basil was good, although needed more seasoning to be rated as Fabulous. The consistency of the tomato was perfect, not to thick, not to creamy. I asked for freshly ground black pepper (why wasn’t if offered in the beginning?) hoping to spice up the Tomato Basil soup, it helped, although it continued to lack the balance of flavor.

 

The French Onion Soup – which was served classically served with a thick mound of melted cheese, slightly charred, was Fabulous from beginning to end. Everything was as expected from this classic soup, both in appearance with flavor, that was beyond Fabulous. The Onion Soup had the flavor of being been slow-cooked for hours, in house, by a chef who strived for excellence. It was Fabulous.

When I I asked about desserts the bartender presented the selections. I choose (2) separate desserts, Peanut Butter Pie, and Strawberry Shortcake.  The first dessert – the Peanut Butter Pie was whimsically presented in an old fashion, bell-top jar. The serving was small in size although enjoyed immensely. All of the traditional elements in the traditional presentation, yet served deconstructed.

The second dessert was Strawberry Shortcake With Burrata for topping, in place of the traditional whipped cream. If you’ve read my previous blogs, you already know my love of cheese for dessert, so the combination of berries and Burrata was delicious. In addition to being a cheese lover, real whipped cream gets my attention faster than one can say Fabulous. Whenever I order any dessert, regardless of the venue and regardless of the menu, I always request the server to add extra whipped cream, especially to something such as strawberry shortcake. My request is always the same – “I LOVE Whipped Cream, so make me look for it.” I don’t mind paying more for what I want, just give me what I want when requested. In most cases, servers are always eager to comply (think larger tip).

The bartender/server had confirmed that she would ask the chef to add plenty of whipped cream to the Shortcake. Unfortunately as beautifully as it was presented, the dessert came with little to no whipped cream at all. There may have been a slight amount added, but due to the deconstruction of the Burrata, the whipped cream must have dissipated, or disappeared. Again, searching for my server to ask why there was no extra whipped cream on my dessert, soon had become more trouble than my time was worth. Nearing the end of the dessert, the bartender came over and asked “How’d you like the whipped cream?” (?!?) “It was made in house”.  Apparently she never realized the additional whipped cream had never been added, even when she sat the dish in front of me?

The food at Harry And Eddie’s is both creative and delicious. However after two visits, you may have to settle for service that’s far from Fabulous.  When dining out, as with everything else in life, people remember the experience and how you made them feel, long after the memory of the food.

 

Guess What I Found?

 

Harry And Eddies, Hinsdale, Illinois – (Part One)

 

I recently found a Fabulous new restaurant in Hinsdale, IL.  Harry and Eddie’s is a restaurant that wants to compete with it’s neighbor just a couple of doors down and it has done a Fabulous job for just 2 days open. I enjoy eating at the bar to evaluate a restaurant and tonight was no exception. Sitting at the bar you can hear things you would be oblivious to, rather than at a comfy table. Dressed in blue, the bar seats were comfortable, however I think too many bar stools crowded the overall bar experience. The stools were literally crammed together. When dining out, it’s always about the experience, as Fabulous service will bring me back faster than Fabulous food. I can easily find Fabulous food, even at home, although finding Fabulous service is more of a challenge.

With two bartenders and less than 6 people at the bar, during my 2 hour epicurean adventure I thought the service would be flawless. Unfortunately the service was lacking, and should have been worked out at their soft opening during the previous Saturday. The gentleman bartender said (the bar) was ‘his baby’, that he was in charge, and had created the (somewhat limited) craft cocktail menu. The bartender (bar manager-?) had a ready smile, and personality to match the Champaign he served, bubbly and sparkling.

My only concern to Fabulous, was his lack of attention to every detail. No glass should ever be empty, and offers of more food when the appetizer plates were empty is a must for Fabulous. Even when he removed the finished plates, no suggestions of something more were tendered. Empty plates and empty glasses should always be acknowledged with suggestions of corrections. Four appetizers and a main dish were served with beautiful attention to detail and generous in portions. Although when complete, not even a suggestion of dessert. The food was Fabulous in every way. The look, the portion, the attention to detail – all were Fabulous.

The Zucchini Bites were crispy and lightly tempura fried to perfection, appearing to be fresh cut, rather than frozen. The Tomato, Basil and Cheese was Fabulous. Large, thick cuts of heirloom tomatoes were tasty, crisp, and fresh with summer flavor. The Avocado Toast, the best I have ever had. A large portion on freshly toasted bread and creamy avocado topped with peppery arugula. The contrast of flavors and textures created a Fabulous appetizer. In fact someone had actually asked me what the dish was, later when I was leaving. I told them it was the best and they should try it, and assured them they would not be disappointed. The final of the four was a creamy blend of Cheese and Honey served in a pot with a spoon to generously slather on the warm crusty bread, along with the honey and comb provided to compliment the dish.

The main dish was there nightly special of Shrimp and Grits. Being a southern boy, I have had my share of grits. The best of memory was the grits served many decades ago at the Regency Hyatt House on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, until I tried the chefs creation for his nightly offering. The grits were decadently delicious, creamy to perfection and seasoned to Fabulous. The shrimp were cooked tenderly, accompanied by Andouille sausage bites giving an additional hint of spice.

The general manager asked how the Shrimp and Grits were as the chef wanted to know, since it was the first of the nightly special served. I told him it was a much different Shrimp and Grits, however I also replied that the dish was Fabulous, and asked the GM to please give the chef my accolades. The general manager was nice although automated. It did give me a feeling that there was concern for my experience. The food experience was Fabulous and I hope the service catches up to the food. Although not overpriced for portions and quality, it was not economy fare. I will try it again and would be willing order the same selection again, although I do want to try some of the other offerings, while hoping the service has been polished to perfection.

Starting a culinary tour soon, so look for a review, that might be from your neighborhood.

John Treadwell  772-453-4137  john@fabulousface.com

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