Monday, 19 November 2012

Out to Dinner

The Frugal Scholar recently wrote about going out to eat more often and the risk of being disappointed.  We went to an acclaimed new restaurant down on the Fish Quay for our anniversary (all of two years now) and though Bill was quite happy, I didn't feel it was good value.

The trouble with living frugally is that sometimes when you stick your head out of the tightwad world you get bitten by sticker shock.  I made the mistake of ordering a steak.  It tasted fine, but I thought it was so small that it couldn't justify the £14 price tag. 

Bill started with scampi wrapped in bacon.

I see they have since changed their menu and were we to go again, I'd get the duck; I was disappointed there was none on the menu the night we went. 

My goat's cheese was delicious.

It is more of a fish restaurant as it turns out, which given the location seems natural.

I did like the decor, however, and they did a roaring trade in spite of it being a Thursday night. 

When we came out, the riverside was amazing with all the lights twinkling and the glow of an enormous moon.

Our next night out will be with Vivien and her husband next month.  We're going for a Christmas dinner at a place called Twin Farms.  I'll let you know how it goes!

What is most likely to disappoint you about a meal out?


Beryl said...

Oh Shelley, you can take the girl out of Oklahoma, but you can't take the Oklahoma out of the girl! Now that I live here, I have developed an appreciation for really good, thick, big steaks, which was never my first choice when I lived on the West Coast. No more petit fillet for me. My mouth waters just thinking about the beef in this state. Although when we do fish, it is also excellent - as if they fly it here with more speed than they truck it to stores in Seattle. So, what was the question? Right, what can be a disappointment when going out to eat? I would like a bigger selection of after dinner teas. If you don't like Lipton's, sometimes you have to use the bag out of your purse.
Happy Anniversary!

Shelley said...

Beryl - You've hit the nail on the head, haven't you? I do warn people that having grown up in cattle country I have decided views about beef steaks. I'm so glad you can appreciate them, too. I don't recall eating much fish in Oklahoma, bar Long John Silver's or the fish that mom & daddy or their friends caught fishing. I still remember giant catfish in the bathtub, gutting fish on the back porch, wandering around the back yard nibbling the crispy fins off of a small pan friend sun trout.

Anonymous said...

Back in the early years of our marriage, we would celebrate our yearly anniversary with the fancy dinner out...dropping $100+ for dinner at times. But we never felt like the food and atmosphere were really worth the price. Maybe we are simple folk, but we get more joy out of eating a great meal at home and then having popcorn and watching a movie. Plus, now there are two restaurants I have found that are worthy of an anniversary meal but both are more of a mid-price range with awesome food. So I usually suggest one of those places when we do want to eat out.

Rick Stone said...

14 Pounds? (Sorry, my computer doesn't do the British Pound sign.) Would that not be like $28? Haven't met a steak yet worth $28. Since I eat out about as much as I eat at home now I pretty much know what to expect. Of course, when i want a good steak I just head on down to Cattleman's.

Shelley said...

Heather - We've blown tons of money on fancy meals back when I was working and before I realised I would retire quite this early. Eventually we realised that the mid-priced places really were the best for us. We very rarely eat out anymore because we can make quite nice meals at home. Sometimes I do hanker just to see what's out there. Sometimes we discover something good, others we discover it's not worth the trouble.

Rick - Google says £14 is currently £22. I'm thinking that's about what we paid the last time we were at Cattleman's, but for an enormous t-bone if I recall. Might I point out that you know what to expect because you generally eat at Taco Bell?? An experience Bill is anxious to try, BTW. He's curious to know what keeps you coming back day after day!

Revanche said...

It was hard for me to handle going out for a steak or fish because I'm so picky about them, but if I settled for a moderately priced restaurant, I could usually pick something different that was done creatively or really well and be happy.

A poorly cooked, flavorless anything will ruin food for me, really.

If I'm jonesing for a steak, then I'll suck it up and pay for a real steak, theoretically cooked by someone who knows how to cook a steak rather than pay nearly enough for nearly a steak. I don't feel the urge so very often and there are plenty of other cuisines, cheap and midrange, or even reproducible at home that'll keep me happy in the meantime.

P.S. Taco Bell? Ooooh...yck!

Shelley said...

Revanche - You are lucky to live in an extremely cosmopolitan area. It's a little less so here, for example, Mexican food is pretty much non-existant. I thought my steak was delicious, it was just was the size - maybe 3 oz? - that annoyed me. A healthy portion, I know...