By Isabella Waldron
(To be read in an accent of your choosing)
I arrived to the “New Seasóns Grill” on a night reminiscent of the Parisian allies. I’d been hearing rave reviews from my peers about the back-to-basics techniques and farm to fork dinners — especially the $8 turmeric, ginger, coconut water. My expectations should not have been so high. The seating was remarkably limited — in a separate section of the grill, tables were occupied by parents, babies and studying students. Is this what fine dining has come to? A mere spot to read a coffee-stained newspaper? People simply don’t understand gourmet dining atmospheres anymore.
Still, I did not give up just yet. I perused the menu, which was found on recyclable sheets of colored paper. A bold choice. The menu itself was unique — a refrigerated display case of cold noodles and plants and even some “cheese curds.” The diner takes but three steps to his or her right and finds his or herself at a grill to custom order. The options were plentiful…this much is true. I debated between a sesame bagel with cream cheese (a crowd favorite, I’m told), a classic turkey sandwich on sourdough, or the trademark of the “New Seasóns Grill” — the Wok. I let the imagined tastes roll around my head and eventually settled on the wok, as it is New Seasóns’ original claim to fame.
My appetite grew as the service was remarkably slow, but this can be expected of all gourmet dining experiences. After all, what is waiting 40 minutes in front of the counter when you are at the beloved New Seasóns, clinging to the excitement of the nearby deli cases of homemade applesauce and the “chicken liver” dish that comes out annually? At least, this is what I thought to myself as I watched countless people pass by in front of me with odd metal carts. Who brings a metal cart to a restaurant? Again, I am shocked by the lack of propriety people have in restaurants nowadays.
I watched as the chefs prepared my food. They flipped woks and made sandwiches busily but were frankly a bit rude when I kept requesting my Asian Plum sauce to be served “a lá mode.”
Finally, the food arrived. Instead of a plate, I was given a cardboard box. The scent of noodles emanated from within. Upon first taste — with a plastic fork, I must mention — I was delighted by the medley of taste and fusions of flavors. The chicken was dry like a classic, vintage, 2014 merlot. But, the dish was redeemed by the plentiful serving of noodles and sauce.
Overall, one must be prepared for a fairly odd restaurant atmosphere, reminiscent of a grocery store. However, the food is varied and moderately delicious. I may return, but I will bring my own china plates and silverware.