We've been dreading this a little, but it's probably time we make mention of The Food at The Waverly Inn. To qualify, we'll say that the chef has not yet had anywhere near a reasonable amount of time to fine tune these dishes and so nothing about the next couple of sentences in entirely fair. But, on we go.
The Waverly menu is crafted for regulars, which is how it should be. Dishes are familiar and just intriguing enough to stave off boredom, but not so challenging that you'd ever worry about not finding something to eat. There are, of course, oysters, a burger and a steak frites. It is surprising that there isn't a hearty pasta on this menu, though perhaps it will appear in time. All this menu-friendliness is surely the influence of Eric Goode and Sean MacPherson, who are partners with Carter on the project. The problem, however is that most of the menu isn't being executed correctly yet.
If there are early standouts, they are the Amish free-range chicken, followed closely by the gratis buttermilk biscuits that arrive at the outset. Beyond these two offerings, however, very little about the food is well calibrated yet. Truffle fries are far too crunchy and lack the rich finish they should; the short ribs are of respectable quality, but have no flavor compass. And the burger, which at a club like this should be a quiet kingpin, is not yet fit to be tasted.
With all that said, the genius -- and it is genius -- of this restaurant is the space. Provided Team Graydon can get a small handful of the planned dishes up to code, none of us will ever see the inside of the place after next week. Cafe Cluny, though it is charming, is way out of its league. The battle will be between Carter and McNally.
· Waverly Innsanity: The Menu [~E~]
· Waverly Innsanity: The Dining Room [~E~]
· Waverly Innsanity: The Bar [~E~]
· Waverly Innsanity: It Begins [~E~]