I met A at Dianne's, where we were greeted by a few extremely personable staff members, including Dianne. We were shown immediately to our table in the glassed-in porch area. We were kind of tucked away in a corner, which is nice for bloggers who are trying to surreptitiously review food. Our server came over almost right away, answered my questions about the restaurant week menu, and we ordered. A really nice touch with Dianne's RW menu is the complimentary glass of wine. We were offered a choice of style - Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, or Cabernet. I'm a Cab girl, so that's what I went with, and A decided on the same.
Our appetizers arrived shortly after we ordered, and we dug in. A started with the Lobster Ravioli, which consisted of three lobster-filled ravioli in a beurre blanc sauce and topped with more lobster. It was rich, creamy, and flavorful. The lobster on top was a little bit overcooked, but it hardly mattered. I decided to try the Italian eggroll. I wasn't sure what an Italian eggroll was, so I had asked beforehand. It was Italian sausage, spinach, and cheese, stuffed in an eggroll and topped with marinara sauce and more cheese. It was awesome. It was also huge. Normally, I don't consider that to be a problem, but I also tend to talk a lot, so it took me awhile to finish it, which led to the last few bites being cold. Lesson learned: talk less, eat more.
Shortly after our appetizers were cleared, our entrees were served. A elected to get the Bacon Wrapped Petit Filet Mignon. He ordered it cooked medium, which is a little too done for my tastes, but he liked it, though I think he would have preferred it a little more medium rare and a little less medium. It was served with mashed potatoes and pan-fried cauliflower in a beurre blanc sauce. I tried some of the cauliflower and it was phenomenal. It was still a little crunchy on the inside, which is how I like my veggies, plus it was impeccably seasoned. Delicious.
I ordered the Grouper Da Vinci. Again, I wasn't quite sure what the "Da Vinci" entailed, so I asked. Turns out that it means pan-fried grouper served on a bed of spinach, with artichoke hearts and lump crab meat, in a beurre blanc sauce. Um...Yes please. I'm not a huge spinach eater. I like it raw, but I find that it tends to be a bit over done when cooked. This was the perfect balance. The artichoke hearts were crunchy and added a nice salty flavor to the rest of the dish. When I say it was topped with crab meat, I mean that there was almost as much crab as there was grouper. I don't think I could have made a better decision for an entree.
For dessert, A and I both ordered the cheesecake. It was served with strawberries and a strawberry syrup. It also tasted like there were some citrus elements involved, but I'm not sure where exactly they were in the dish. It was a nice way to close out the meal. After we paid our bill, we weren't quite ready to head out, so we made our way to Dianne's bar, and had another drink. It was a nice end to a pretty good evening.
There was just one issue. When we were first seated, our server was very attentive, but shortly after he brought our entrees out, he seemed to forget we existed. Which was especially problematic since he was fawning over the table of four next to us. I had finished my glass of wine about halfway through my entree, and wanted to order another, but unfortunately, I couldn't get his attention. When he finally did come back over (I had about three bites of my fish left), I asked him about a Cab/Merlot blend that I had seen on the wine list. I couldn't remember the name of the vineyard, so I asked. He rattled off a couple things and then said, "But I think what you've been drinking will be fine for you," in the sort of condescending tone that I only associate with my accounting professor from last semester. I was a little stunned, so I just kind of nodded, and he walked away. I looked at A, he looked at me, and we tried to dissect what had just happened. We were both just shocked at how rude and condescending he had been. I'm still not sure why. I'm not a particularly demanding diner, nor did I do anything to offend him. I don't know if he made some kind of assumption about me because I was ordering off the RW menu, or because I'm young, or hell, even because I'm female. He was distant and almost surly for the (mercifully) short time we remained at our table. It was almost like he didn't think A & I warranted his attention after the four older people sat down at the table next to us. It offends me that someone dismissed me so out of hand. And unfortunately, it ruined an otherwise wonderful dining experience.
Maybe I'm overreacting, but in comparison to everyone else on the staff who we encountered, our server, who started out polite and friendly, just fell flat. And at a restaurant of Dianne's caliber, I expect more. The food was wonderful, the atmosphere was incredible (they even had live music), but I could have done without our server. As good as the food was, this just ruined the whole experience for me.