Recent Reviews

Went to lunch with two of my coworkers. When we walked in the narrow entrance, the front of the place was unkempt as we passed the kitchen to be seated. The room itself seemed trendy and all, and I was looking to have good sushi as this place was recommended by one of my coworkers who took us here. We all ordered drinks and I have to say, we were wondering if the waitress stepped out to the local liquor store to buy the ingredients, as it took forever to get our cocktails. Upon finally receiving our drinks, the waitress took our orders and we sat to enjoy our drinks. I excused myself to go to the bathroom, and I have to say I was dismayed at what I saw. The bathroom was absolutely filthy and the toilet was stopped up. To make matters worse there was no soap which made me wonder how the employees were able to wash their hands despite the sign in the bathroom that read that all employees must wash their hands before returning to work. Well when I returned to the table I encouraged my coworkers to drink up as I told them of my horror. We paid our drinks and walked out to get some burgers. I then immediately called the board of health on my cellphone. So obviously, I wouldn't recommend anyone going to this filthy place. Maybe by the time anyone reads this, the place will be closed down before anyone gets sick.

Posted by Rick Ramos on 03/10/2005 at 11:11 PM

Re: “Oceanique

Oceanique is a beautiful and cozy French-American restaurant in the heart of Evanston. I've noticed this little gem for quite sometime and have always wanted to dine there. Well last night, I finally had the opportunity as my boyfriend and I met another couple to celebrate a 35th birthday. We got to the restaurant first and immediately was warmly greeted by a lovely lady who took our coats and seated us at the bar to await the rest of our party. We started out with 2 very ample and perfectly made martinis. The hostess was so accommodating that she indicated that she could seat us to await the rest of our party if we so desired. We graciously declined as we were enjoying our delicious martinis and our "couple" friends soon walked in the door and we were soon seated in the main room filled with French poster art, sponge-painted walls, and draped ceilings. Our party started out our meal with a plate of pan-seared foie gras with 4 glasses of delicious sweet wine which complemented the excellent foie gras which had delicious pieces of mango and other ingredients. We then shared half a dozen oysters which were topped with caviar. How decadent. However, this was the beginning of Oceanique's downward spiral to an otherwise excellent beginning. Everyone in the party slurped down the superbly presented oysters and soon we all looked at each others sour faces of disgust at the awful tasting oysters. Had they been flown in a week prior? We informed the server and asked for sparkling water, anything, to cleanse our palates. Our individual appetizers came and by boyfriend ordered the beet salad with scallops and shrimp. It was probably the better appetizer ordered among the four of us. My friend ordered the ravioli in a sage butter sauce topped with walnuts. It was quite unimpressive and reminded me of the ravioli I sampled at Costco. I think Costco's was better. My other friend and I both had the leek soup with lobster. It was beautifully presented with creme-frache, greens, corn and lobster hidden in the soup. However, the soup lacked any overall complexity or flavor. Everyone agreed that it was missing flavor and needed something--perhaps salt and pepper? Salt and pepper shakers were noticeably absent from all the tables. How presumptious and arrogant of the chef. The entrees arrived and I had rack of New Zealand lamb. Again, beautifully presented, but lacked any overall flavor. In addition, the lamb came out tepid. My boyfriend ordered the Dover sole which the server recommended as one of their signature dishes. It tasted awful and fishy. Perhaps from the same fishmonger as the oysters? My other friends had the lobster tail and the steak topped with roquefort cheese. Both dishes were expensive disappointments. I won't go into the desserts because it just isn't worth mentioning. All and all, I would not go back to this restaurant. My friends consider ourselves a bit of food snobs but we can recognize poor food quality when we see it. Oceanique is like receiving a beautifully wrapped present and upon opening, you get a gag gift. Literally, you will gag.

Posted by Rick Ramos on 01/08/2005 at 9:19 AM

I've been to John Barleycorns when I was back in college about 10 years ago and loved the burgers and bar atmosphere. I should have never revisited those days and this bar/restaurant. The service was awful. First off, the party I was with wanted to eat and to be seated for dinner. The hostess didn't even greet us, but just stated "how many?" How many what? How many braincells burst when she uttered her incomplete sentence? Then when she took 4 menus to seat us I was stopped at the podium by a bouncer asking for my i.d. ( again he was unable to form a complete sentence, just "i.d." ) Normally, I would be thrilled to be carded but I was just perturbed by the lack of customer service. Now to the food: I don't know, I guess I must not have been sober each time I ate here back in college because the burgers were unspectacular and the fries just sucked. My entire party could have used another round of beers but the less-than-enthusiastic waitress was too busy talking to another table with her friends than serve us. If you are reading this, we're the ones who put a penny under an inverted glass of water for your tip. You see, we HAVE matured the last 10 years. Sorry, we just couldn't resist. Don't go to Barleycorn's for the burgers or the service.

Posted by Rick Ramos on 11/26/2002 at 10:38 PM

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