Like James Bond, I like my martinis a very specific way, with the only variable being the brand of Gin. “Sapphire Martini very dry, shaken, up, with a twist.” I got a warm, stirred martini with too much vermouth and 2 olives.
Ok, for those unused to my reviews, I have very high standards for my restaurant service. I like it classical and correct, and I certainly did not expect that at a casino restaurant, but I did expect to have a martini made correctly.
That said, the problems with the martini follow:
1: Very dry means the drink should contain only the slightest breath of vermouth. When I make them at home, I put the vermouth in the shaker with the ice, shake it, then I pour it out before adding the Gin.
2. Shaking is done in order to make the drink very cold and to slightly dilute the alcohol, making the flavor of the gin more pronounced. A martini should be so cold your tongue tingles.
3. A twist means a tiny twist of lemon, preferably twisted above the glass and rubbed around the rim. If olives are desired, and this is a big one in the ‘know what you’re doing’ school of drink-mixing, then one uses one or three olives. NEVER two. Look it up in any drink manual and it will confirm what I’m saying. On to the food: I ordered a mixed fish plate with sea bass, salmon, and skewered shrimp, with mixed vegetables, and the ‘lobster sauce’ dressing.
The fish was quite good. It was flavorful, not terribly prepared (the salmon was a bit overdone, but that is a common problem). I think I liked the light, flaky, sea bass. The dip tasted like milky lobster bisque, which is not a bad thing at all. I then requested the ‘lemon butter sauce’ to try as well. I was given the soy-ginger (a good thing considering that it gave me a chance to try all three, but that’s strike 2 for the inattentive bartender.) I finally flagged him down for the lemon butter, which turned out to be decent. The soy/ginger, however, was toxic. This horrid mush was the stuff of nightmares.
All in all, I give the fish three stars. I finished the dinner with the bananas foster, one of my favorite deserts of all time. It was magnificent and enormous.
The atmosphere of the place was fairly standard for an upper end Kansas City casino restaurant, meaning it looked like a cross between red lobster and a Houlihan’s.
So, here’s the rundown:
1. Food (cooks): Good quality, good flavor. 3 stars.
2. Service (wait staff): Incompetent (wrong way to make a martini), and Bad (wrong sauce, inattentive despite light customer load). 1 Star.
3. Atmosphere (ownership and management): Lousy wine list, vinegar by the glass, cutlery rolled in a napkin, 2 stars