One of the things that drew me to try the Old Surrey Restaurant was the various tableside service items. It's professional and old-school, and fun to watch. The calm confidence with which our waiter prepared everything, and the engagement he had with our table, was also an interesting contrast in tone/feel with the rather businesslike and somewhat rushed-feeling service at Black + Blue. While he did not make himself a part of our conversation, he was also clearly ready to engage with us however much or little we engaged with him.
This, I think, is part of the larger unrushed dinner feeling I got at the Old Surrey Restaurant. It was a Saturday night, and the restaurant didn't seem like it was ever even half full. The clientele was generally older, with the seniors dropping in shortly before 6pm. Seating felt a bit tight, but still with some privacy, and cushioned, wider-than-standard, chairs. This is the sort of place you go to when you want a slow, intimate dinner with good friends over good conversation that could last for hours. Our reservation was for 5pm, guests arrived by 5.30 pm, and we were done by around 9pm.
- The increasingly rare tradition of bread at the table before your meal is maintained here. And with soft, warm bread! Not room-temperature rolls. Soft butter is already on the table, as part of every table setting.
- This was surprisingly tender and juicy, and not gamey, which is a common complaint about lamb.
- Served in a big scallop shaped dish.
- Lots of leftover sauce. Good thing we had bread at the table to sop it up.
- Eat it right away when it's hot.
- Lovely presentation, and pretty tasty. Four scallops for our table of four.
- Its basically cooked in the kitchen, and the final touches are done at the table.
- Each portion of meat was maybe 4 ounces (?).
- Each plate also had asparagus, a half tomato, and a couple of potato croquettes.
- We all ordered this, and opted for medium rare, which was done perfectly. Generous amount of jus.
- Very tasty, and so tender you could pull tear chunks of meat off with your fork. For medium rare, there was nothing chewy about this at all.
- Your basic crème brûlée, done perfectly.
- The dish size is also much larger than what is often seen now, which is either a small but deep dish about 2 inches wide, or the wider but shallow dish. This this the wide dish, but about 50% deeper.
- I don't recall (or wasn't paying enough attention) that it was a from-scratch preparation that includes melting sugar in the pan. Instead, the tableside show was basically flaming the cherries and pouring them over ice cream in stemware glasses.
- At $9 per cup, it's a pretty pricey portion for what you get.