Icy Martinis and Bad Fish
OK, enough politics for a while. Back to more important things.
Like why can't the new trendy martini restaurant in my town figure out how to make a martini that isn't full of ice chunks? Any why are they only half full?
It's not like we get out to trendy martini bars very often with two little kids. Maybe we aren't up on all the trends. Like we know it's correct to serve red wine in a much oversized glass, so it can breath (or some such nonsense), but when did this become true of martinis? And it's not like this was an oversized glass. It was just a much undersized martini.
And what's with the ice chunks? This restaurant, Mandrake in Beverly, is very cool, great atmosphere, and has been open about a year. We tried it out when it first opened and had the exact same experience with the drinks. Gave them a pass because it had only been open a week. But by now, I'd think they should know how to make a martini correctly. I mean, I wouldn't expect a perfect martini at a beer joint, or at the 99, but when you have a martini menu, you should be able to make a fucking martini without shards of ice in it.
And then there is the tuna problem. I am a bit of a tuna snob. Tuna can only be cooked one way: RARE. The best tuna dishes I've ever had were cooked by a chef named Brian Kilroy who worked at the late, great Love Noodle in Salem, and then hopped around to several other restaurants on the North Shore. It was perfect every time. Seared, sliced, and served over asian noodles and vegetables in a killer soy wasabi sauce. If you ordered it any other way than RARE, he would refuse to make it. He was the Tuna Nazi.
Mandrake's tuna appetizer was cooked correctly, but it seemed like it was prepared between a few hours and a few days before it was served. Yuck.
So while we will probably give Mandrake another chance at some point, it is on a 6-month probation for shitty drinks and stale tuna. One of our other favorite North Shore restaurants, Finz in Salem is also on a 1-year tuna probation for the bland, overthick, seared on only one side slab I got there this summer. Rare tuna is good, but a two inch thick piece of raw fish with no flavor is not.