DINNER 7: Saturday, January 7, 2006

Tonight, a group of us (Holly, Ed, Colin, Wendy, Jay, and myself) met at ONE DINING, a new restaurant situated in a converted city building in Mason Ohio, for a surprise birthday dinner for Angel (who turns the big 3-0 on January 8th).

One Dining

Ed, Holly, Colin, Wendy, and Drew arrived early to be in place for the surprise. A nice red wine started flowing, followed shortly by a bottle of white (one of Wendy’s favorite whites, a Chenin Blanc/Viognier — our personal favorite is the Pine Ridge Clarksburg — while tonight’s wine wasn’t Pine Ridge, it was still very nice). Sean Kagy, the executive chef, came out to greet our table and offered us a tour after the meal. Our mutual friend, MichaelB, had alerted them that we were visiting the restaurant. After a bit, Jay & Angel walked in, and Angel was suitably surprised.

We started the meal with a sampling of appetizers — butternut squash ravioli (excellent); beef carpaccio; Maryland crab cakes (excellent); salad of maine lobster, crab & rock shrimp (lovely); and shrimp & crab chowder (very nice).

The main courses were osso bucco; ahi tuna with foie gras; rock shrimp, scallops and lemon linguine; duo of salmon and sole; and the seared duck breast. All the entrees were very tasty and nicely plated. The corn and mushroom crepe served with my generous ahi tuna was delicious. The tuna was well-prepared, too; seared on the outside and cool in the middle, topped with a nice piece of foie gras.

Desserts came out and were very nice — chocolate mousse crunch; lemon crush; pecan pie and others.

After the meal, Sean gave Wendy & I a tour of their new kitchen (which used to be the jail when it was a city building — fitting for a bunch of cooks, don’t you think?!), the prep area, and the rest. Not an inch of wasted space.

We thought it was a very nice touch that the restaurant laid a birthday card on the table for Angel, signed by the chef and staff.

The meal was very good and the service was about where you’d expect it to be for a new restaurant (10 weeks open at the time of this writing). No major mistakes in service, but not yet perfectly smooth. Two annoyances were that Wendy was looking forward to ordering a monkfish dish which was advertised on their website, only to find that it was not on the menu. For patrons attempting to become familiar with a new place, not having something that is advertised is a mistake. We were pleased by the wine list, but ordering a bottle of wine for dessert, we were told that it wasn’t yet in stock.

These small errors should not turn anyone away from trying ONE. It’s a fine meal and these service issues will be resolved in time.


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