Hello, hello! As many of you know, my birthday was on the 12th (dirty thirty). Dad encouraged me to pick somewhere extravagant, so I took it to heart and chose the Mansion on Turtle Creek. We were celebrating mine and a friend’s birthdays. I wasn’t planning on doing a blog post about it, so I didn’t get pictures of everything, but Lew Andrada insisted on hearing more about the place. So, here it is.
First, a reminder of my rating system:
MMMMM = Everything is magnificent!
MMMM = Great, but something is off.
MMM = Pretty good, but a couple of things could be better.
MM = The bad’s starting to outweigh the good.
M = Definitely more cons than pros.
… = I couldn’t find anything nice to say.
As usual, first and foremost is accessibility. It’s not really accessible, but they try. Parking is valet, so as soon as I was unloaded, someone led the way up the (heated) walkway into the foyer, which was where things got less than wheelchair friendly. There were two steps up going into the dining area, so they brought out this three foot portable ramp and set it up. The incline was so steep that my wheelie bars hung and I lost traction for a second. But with the help of Dad and some of the staff, I made it up (and back down) safely. Other than that, the tables were perfect. Just let them know ahead of time that you need something accessible. Also, request a table in the library if possible. That has nothing to do with accessibility, it’s just a really beautiful room.
Next up is service. The entire wait staff (from the bread person to the one who keeps your water filled to the waiter himself) was wonderful. Everyone was attentive and knowledgeable. They didn’t act like I was invisible. We got to hear all about the Mansion’s history and they gave us a mini tour after we were done eating (since we were pretty much the only people left). I have zero complaints about the people there.
Food… this is where things get iffy. The taste of everything ranged from really good to superb, so don’t worry about that, but the portions were super tiny. They were the perfect size for me, but don’t go in expecting tons of food. For instance, I got the shigoku oysters to start. There were half a dozen small oysters with some kind of foam and other fancy toppings. They fell on the really good end of the yum spectrum. Dad got quail (like a quarter of the bird came out on a huge plate). That was delicious. My friends who went with us are vegan, so they got a kale dish and beet gazpacho (it didn’t even look like soup, but they said everything was great).
Entrees were taking a while, so the chef sent out a taster of head cheese for Dad and I, and quinoa for my friends. It was so tiny and cute that we had to laugh. Dinner itself included tea smoked pheasant for Dad (about half a breast with a side of potato foam… yes, foam). Maple leaf duck for me (three slices with some kind of blackberry sauce and citrus confit). My friends were going to share something called textures of onion, but the waiter said the chef would prefer them to order two portions otherwise they would still be hungry when they left. Again, everything was phenomenal, just really tiny. Luckily, bread was being passed around the whole time.
After dinner, they brought out a palate cleanser of apple sorbet (I’m allergic to apples, but I ate it anyway). It was so small it was adorable. Then came time for dessert. Dad ordered a special red velvet cake layered with raspberry creme brulee. It was out of this world. Best. Cake. Ever. Unfortunately, it wasn’t vegan, so my friends got bowls of fruit. Dessert was the biggest and best part of the whole meal. Definitely.
Alas, we must mention price. It’s the Mansion. You don’t go there for a cheap meal. You go for the ambiance and the ability to say “I’ve been there!” That being said, we were expecting a five-six hundred dollar bill, but it was only around three hundred (plus the cake and the tip). So, expensive but not as bad as we were expecting.
Totally worth the experience. See you next week!