Quick review of Revolutions restaurant in Durham

Summary:

Food: very good (I wouldn’t yet say OMG fabulous)
Service: interrupted

On Monday night I took

aklikins to Revolution for his birthday dinner. We arrived at 7:30 (had reservations) and were seated promptly. Since we knew we were doing the three course tasting menu, we also ordered promptly and were brought bread and my drink (house chardonnay). Adrian’s drink (tea… ordered sweet, but they didn’t have any and didn’t tell him when he ordered it) took significantly longer (7-8 minutes?). The bread (slices of loaf bread and cornbread muffins) was quite good… the slices, in particular, had a nice tooth, slightly sourbread-y flavor and crisp crust that I really enjoyed.

Our firsts were veal with baby potatoes in a tomato sauce, served with thin crouton-y toasts. Very good, but surprisingly heavy for a first.

And then something must have happened, because there was more than a 45 minute gap between when we finished out firsts and when our seconds arrived!  At about 40 minutes in I asked our waiter if he knew where our food was, and he assured me it was coming and offered me a free glass of wine. Since I hadn’t even finished my first glass yet, I told him no thanks and thanked him for the information.

Two minutes later he showed up with another glass of wine (I remarked to

aklikins that apparently I was getting comped wine whether I liked it or not!). And finally, a few minutes after that our food showed up.

 

The second plates were saddle of rabbit with tarragon and beet risotto (I wondered if perhaps the risotto was the cause of the delay?). The rabbit was very tender and complemented well by the sweetness of the risotto, but would have been more enjoyed had we not been so full of game already, I think.  Too much too rich, you know…

The dessert, a hazelnut chocolate cake with candied quince, was very good but not exceptional. The quince was wonderful and the small amount of quince syrup livened up the otherwise very good — but not roll-your-eyes-and-sigh — hazelnut chocolate cake.

The ceilings were, IMHO, too tall, leading to the echo-y noise that is so common in trendy restaurants. The tables were wider than the norm, which was nice because there was room for all the food without feeling like you were going to knock something off the table. The light fixtures, by http://www.tordboontje.com/, are gorgeous and the table settings are minimalistic (whose aren’t these days?).

In sum, I thought that if the pairings of the food had been better and the major service gap hadn’t happened, the experience would have been excellent. As it was, it was enjoyable, but not quite what it could have been.  I am curious about what they’d have served if we’d chosen the five or seven course tastings… would there have been more balance?

I think we’ll go back, but after they get a chance to work out some kinks.

 

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3 thoughts on “Quick review of Revolutions restaurant in Durham

  1. Thanks for the review! We had talked about going there tomorrow with friends, but had decided to wait for the same reason you give. I think we’re going to Spice & Curry instead. We’ll wait a few weeks then give Revolution a try.

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  2. Yeah — I’d give it a few weeks, I think — it should be shipshape by Valentine’s day, I’d think.
    (Or we could just have had bad luck and everything is really smooth otherwise…?)

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