Friday, October 17, 2014

North by Northwest - Austin

This restaurant is a little further a field than we usually go for dinner - about 16 miles from us, but we were meeting my stepson Travis, and this is about halfway between where we live, not that we need an excuse to eat here.

Although it is a little expensive, it is well worth every penny. The service is first class and the food is good, and for beer lovers they have a variety of very good beers. What is interesting is that I first ate here in 1997 and it is every bit as good today as it was back then.

It is probably unfortunate that the day I chose to write my review, the dish I chose was not as good as I have previously enjoyed, having said that, it wasn't bad.

We had bought two gift cards valued at $50 each from Costco at a discounted price of $79.99, so, in theory, the tip was covered. The bill for four of us for appetizer, four entrees, one beer and two sodas (yes we were being very restrained) was $80 and some change.

The girl who greeted us as we entered showed some determination in trying to divert us to the 'Happy Hour' section. She seemed disappointed when we insisted on avoiding that area and asked for a booth in the dining room, which was almost empty as we were quite early. She led us to the only booth in the room where every seat was in the direct sunlight streaming through the window. We asked to sit in a more shaded booth and she looked confused and waved at the almost empty room and told us to pick our own seating.

We started with the NXNW Sampler Platter - 'fried calamari, buffalo wings, fried artichoke hearts and sausage stuffed mushrooms with three delectable sauces: grain mustard, marinara, and jalapeño buttermilk'. This was very good and there was more than enough for everyone.

For the main course my husband and his mother both had the Beef Tri-Tip Pizza with jalapeños, red bell peppers, mozzarella and marinara, the jalapeños were fresh, not pickled. My stepson chose Pork Chop Porterhouse with roasted red potatoes and balsamic glaze and seasonal vegetables. They were all very happy with their choices, in fact Travis repeated a number of time how great his meal was.

I ordered the Cedar Plank Salmon which was served over sautéed spinach, blue cheese scalloped potatoes in a port wine demi-glas, and my main complaint was that the spinach was extremely oily. It was sautéed in garlic and oil and tasted like the garlic had not been cooked at all and the oil had not been heated sufficiently before the spinach was added, then the whole lot was poured on top of the potatoes, which were great. Unfortunately there really was too much oil and it seeped into the potatoes and the demi-glas. The salmon was slightly overcooked, or perhaps had just been kept warm too long as it was dry and the surface was a little leathery.

While I was disappointed with my meal, it was not bad enough that I wouldn't go back again but I probably would avoid ordering the same dish. The menu is so good and I have had so such great food there before, I don't think that is a problem. I am sure that NXNW would have responded positively had I complained and I probably should have.

Unfortunately none of my photos came out, OK I forgot to put the SD card in my camera ~blush~. Maybe next time I will get photos.