Ivy caught my eye a while back as a restaurant I was eager to dine at, but actually making a reservation there was an activity that for whatever reason continued to elude me. When I chose Ivy for a family celebratory dinner I was apparently the only one who had been missing out on the experience, as everyone else responded with something along the lines of “oh nice I really like Ivy.”
So the expectations were set, and the hype slowly started to build as I perused the menu about an hour before heading out to the restaurant. The menu is ridiculous, and by ridiculous I mean it’s littered with ridiculously delicious sounding meals and appetizers.
As I walked into the restaurant I got the feeling that I was underdressed. The layout opens up with a deep and darkened great room underneath a vaulted ceiling, with balcony seating above us.
Opening up the menu was a brand new experience for me, not only because I had never been to the restaurant but because I’ve never before seen a menu emit a cool glowing light as if it were a giant Kindle reader. As I tried to read the menu I continued to be overwhelmed by the abundance of mouth-watering dishes. In response to this luckily my brain simplified the process: see something good, order it. Coconut shrimp? Sounds delicious, ordered. Short ribs? I love short ribs, why make this too complicated. Ordered.
The quick decisions paid off. The coconut shrimp was as good as I’ve had, and the short ribs with mashed potatoes completely delivered (and my mom makes the best mashed potatoes so I know a good mash when I taste it). The meat was tender and the taste was everything I had hoped for.
Accompanying my meal, my beverage of choice was a refreshing Kombacher Pils, a German Pilsener that I’ve never tried before but would most definitely order again.
On the downside, the calamari was not the best. A little too much fried batter, too little octopi. However, even this downside had an upside as included among the calamari were some marinated peppers that added an unexpected flair to the dish, and dare I say completely redeemed itself? Nah I still need more octopi. With all of that said, I’d give the calamari a mulligan and try it again next time.
Will there be a next time? That is usually the make or break question when reviewing a restaurant, and I see many return visits in my future with so much left on the menu to try.