Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tucson's on Bank @ Hunt Club


Elsewhere on this blog, I have given this place faint praise for the food, as in cooking, wait staff and atmosphere (the ingredients were horrid). Well, I have been back today and the ingredients have improved, but the cooking has gone downhill significantly, the wait staff has deteriorated and the prices have gone up!

(I am also planning a piece on what constitutes a ‘good restaurant’ and my basic premise is that the COOKING has to be good… the other stuff like fresh ingredients, love of the food, can be replicated at home (see DesBrisay’s article this weekend); and the atmosphere and wait staff… well, if you had enough money, it can all be done… the difference is in the cost benefit analyses. I pay for good cooking and well…. there is not a lot of it in Ottawa… Beckta’s, their new guy Mike Moffatt is really not up to scratch and their Achilles’ heel… Even the jap guy at the Casino is ok…. The only great chef right now is Laurier, but he’s succumbed to working at the Museum of Civilization… shame….this is the Ottawa mentality…. And I have not tried eighteen… Matt Carmichael or I like to call him Susur’s disciple… the cooking at Social was so so… but I think this was before Carmichael took over the kitchen….. and John Taylor (Domus), besides his foie gras, other stuff is just ok…. think it’s the truffles or coulis)

All this to say that this place, Tucson’s, now is on the list of avoids because it sucks... no matter who the blues groups are that are coming through.

I had a ribeye and mash, their 'special potato’ for the day. The ribeye was nice enough, ingredient wise, but it isn't too hard to do steak. The grill was obviously not hot enough and I had to ask for it to be put back on the grill to sear (and make the grill hotter this time! … nicely, of course). See, I like my steak Chicago style, burnt on the outside and rare on the inside. Instead of agreeing to do this, the waiter suggested that they have a searing pan where cook can do this. Well... the cook cannot replicate a proper ribeye, with all the fat and sinew (and this part is where the ingredients were good... the steak had the right amount of fat, etc) cooked to rare or even medium on a very hot grill. And the waiter's suggestion just cooked the steak a little more. Couldn't really send a steak back twice.... shame on them...

The potatoes were awful and tasteless. Pretty hard to screw up mash! … And the veggies... please, ... all restaurants cooking snow peas, for god sake... take the strings out of them... it's like those viet restaurants that would not buy the more expensive bean sprouts without the tails.... it really depreciate your food!!!

The steak was $30! And the beers were $12. Plus tax and tip for lunch... a $50 bill, for one! For that kind of price.... I expect more... much more.... It's like Gordon Ramsay says... if you can't FRIGGING cook meat on a Barbee... you shouldn't BE in the business....

The best ribeye in Ottawa, is still at Prime 360.... And I think they are still at around $30- $40. Except they have nothing else besides steak going for it.