07 August 2011

Pomme Cafe, 37-19 Broadway (at 38th St, Astoria, NY)

Wow, so it's been well over a year since I've written here. Here's to a just past mid-year resolution and reviewing more restaurants!

Just last week, I went to Pomme Cafe for the 5th time since it's opened. Pomme is a little French bistro not too far a walk from my house here in Astoria, Queens. I went once with my (now ex)boyfriend when they had just opened, and the food was incredible. I had the lamb shank which came with vanilla mashed potatoes. Outstanding, in addition to the lamb and vegetables being perfect.

I went again with my mom, and while she was less than pleased with her lamb sandwich (it had veins of fat running through it), my meal was pretty good (I had the beef bourguignon, which was pretty fabulous). I also went twice for brunch, sat outside and enjoyed a great omlette with greyere & zucchini, and the second time simple eggs, toast & bacon. The mary was spicy, the homefries were great. No complaints here.

I had purchased a Groupon for Pomme Cafe maybe 3 or 4 months ago, and noticed recently that the expiration date was soon arriving. The Groupon was expiring on a Friday, and I was frantic to use it since I tried to go previous Monday night for dinner but they were closed for renovations. No problem, I'll find someone to go with me during the week. No dice. Well fine- I'll use the Groupon myself- take myself out to dinner and enjoy a quiet night out.

So on a drizzly, late Wednesday night (I left work about 745pm), I rolled up to Pomme and sat at the bar by myself. There was a bartender who was on her third day of working there pouring, and we quickly strike up a few conversations about working there and her living in Canada (in between her talking to some other patrons down the bar and saying, after they mentioned they were in the diamond business, "I love diamonds," nice.) Pomme had just recently redone their menu (hello higher prices) and had some interesting items. The only kicker was that Pomme Cafe is a french bistro - and yet I see Asian fusion entrees on the menu. What the hell is going on here?

Of course the bartender has no idea, she just started. I found out later that apparently they've gone through a few chefs and the French chef who started there left. Needless to say I am heartbroken to see my beloved croque-madame taken off the menu. At least they kept the bourguignon on- but expanding your burger section and adding in a ton of pasta? (Really? You know it's not made in house.) Rather than go with an aforementioned favorite, I decided to try something new and have the shrimp & scallops with risotto (with peas and fava beans). Summery, light, and delicious - good thing I had just ordered some red wine to go with my seafood. (Stupid Katie.)

The risotto comes a little too fast and I'm immediately unimpressed - there's only two grilled shrimp and two small bay scallops that look barely seared. I take my first bite of risotto and not only is it chewy and undercooked, it's lukewarm - I take a bite from the other side and it's hot (but still undercooked). What the hell? Not wanting to make a fuss or a scene (I was happy just to be there), I continued eating, trying to enjoy the actually very nicely assembled combination of flavors with the peas, fava beans, truffle oil and creaminess of the risotto. I take a few bites of shrimp, while it was definitely well seasoned, it was a bit overcooked. I take a few bites of my first scallop and it's delicious, but into the second something is definitely off. I debate pre-emptively calling into work on food poisoning but hold off in case I'm crying wolf. Maybe it's a good thing they only gave me two of each shrimp and scallop because neither of them was cooked correctly.

Honestly, there was absolutely nothing prepared correctly about that meal. Not wanting to make a big fuss or be one of "those" people (considering I was eating for "free" with a groupon), I just ate in peace and tried to enjoy the best I could. I did have a great time talking with the waitstaff and another bar patron who was actually a waiter at the other branch of Pomme Cafe in the Hamptons - we had some great conversation and ended up sharing two bottles of wine (!) by the end of the night.

Needless to say I doubt I'll be going back to Pomme Cafe, which is a shame because it has great ambiance with decent service. But the lack of food quality and increased prices are just too much for me. It's a shame they didn't keep that original chef.

2 Forks (because my previous meals were great):
Custom Search