The bottom line: Upscale dining without real personality
Ok, that bottom line was a little harsh but allow me to explain. I went to Dressler’s recently with some friends. I was looking for a place that I have never been to and really just wanted a varied meat selection. You can tell I was going for my protein fix that day. I finally settled on Dressler’s because it was one of the few restaurant that made the short list that could accommodate our reservation time.
I walked into Dressler’s and for some reason I wasn’t expecting it to be as upscale as it was. This restaurant is housed in the Metropolitan complex close to uptown. I have been to other restaurants here before and you will find a combination of upscale and the usual small lunch joints. The Dressler’s location itself is spacious with both tables and booths. They have expansive windows with a gorgeous view of uptown. This place is perfect for fancy dates, special occasions, and celebrations of any sort.
I was seated at my table and handed a menu and an iPad. I wish they had stuck with one or the other. The menu on the iPad had more descriptions and pictures than the traditional menu. What happens though is that when you are handed an iPad for your table people want to take turns looking, you get overwhelmed with the options, and it just takes so much longer to order than it normally would. I am not saying the electronic menu is a bad choice (it does allow for greater details, pictures, and changing menu items) but they should stick with one or the other.
I started the evening with the classic shrimp cocktail. As it often happens gluttony got the best of me before I could snap a picture (I usually have this oh-oh moment halfway through a meal when I forget to snap a pic…go ahead and just visualize that). The shrimp themselves where big, fresh, and oh so plump. I was not a big fan of the cocktail sauce. I have taken to making cocktail sauce myself lately and I have developed a taste for it on the spicier end. The taste in this sauce was very subtle.
For dinner I ordered the crispy duck. I had intentions of going to town on some protein but the crispy duck was just calling out to me. The waiter did warm me that it was a rather small dish. And he was right. While the duck was crispy and tender there wasn’t much of it. The wasabi slaw with the hoisin BBQ sauce drizzled on top was phenomenal. It was spicy, it was sweet, it was crunchy. All things that I love. I have to say that traditional slaw has been forever ruined for me as I have been favoring the spicier wasabi creations that I have seen at several restaurants lately (that little Asian food fanatic in me speaking).
A dish worthy of a honorable mention is the grilled pork chop. It was gigantic, with a beautiful pink center, and deliciously looking (I say that because I didn’t get to try it). I had major dish envy. For real. Usually my friends offer up a bite or two of their dishes to me and this time not a peep was uttered and it was very joyously and quickly scarfed down before my deeply envious foodie eyes. I have not forgotten this moment and have not forgiven either. You just wait my friend, you just wait.
Overall, the service at Dressler’s was great. Our waiter was extremely professional (as was all the staff I interacted with) and he seriously knew his stuff. What was missing for me in this restaurant though was just a little character. It felt a little to stand-offish and sterile. The waiter kept referencing grandma’s recipes for the desserts (none were ordered) but I had a hard time believing it because I just couldn’t picture sweet old grandma in this setting or the surely industrial kitchen behind the dining room walls (for the record I am sure that if they say it’s the owner’s grandma’s recipe they are). All I am saying that it is important that the setting correspond with the stories.
Will I be back? Sure. There are a lot of menu items to try. The food was pretty good. It just won’t be at the top of my list.