Brunch At Nightwood: Needs Some Work

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Aug 17, 2009 3:20PM

No sooner had the server placed the dish on our table yesterday than we were looking for said server to return the dish to the kitchen. By then he was "in the weeds." After a couple minutes we finally got the attention of one of the hostesses, who summoned a front-of-house manager to the table. "What's wrong with the dish?" she asked. Our friend simply pointed to the undercooked chicken on the plate.

On the menu it seemed like a winner: homemade fried chicken and waffles served with stone fruit compote, whipped cream and a poached egg. Save for the raw chicken, the dish looked great. Same for the sweet corn and duck confit crepes, served atop potato and poblano pepper hash, were at least edible, albeit blandly flavored. Faring much better were a bagel served with smoked trout, cream cheese and assorted fresh vegetables and stunning grilled oatcakes with peaches, ricotta and candied oats that nearly had us swearing off simple oatmeal again.

The wide disparity in dishes epitomized the biggest complaint visitors to Nightwood have shared with us since the first round of reviews have seen daylight: an alarming lack of consistency in what the kitchen sends out to diners. Even our friend, who's become a Nightwood regular since its opening, pointed this out. Although until yesterday she fared much better. 'Course, a few more rounds of bellinis might have made us craving raw chicken.