Tuesday, September 29, 2009

An “Okay” Dinner at Windmills – September 15, 2009

While I’ve raved about experiencing a spectacular dinner at Windmills, I was rather disappointed with this one. The food was okay, the service was a little lacking, and the value wasn’t quite there. I only took a few pictures at the start of the meal. I didn’t feel like putting the effort into blogging about a meal that didn’t seem to have a lot of effort put into it.

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First, I started with an iced tea. It’s hard to go wrong with a fountain drink.

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Then the bread basket arrived, along with the Portuguese mussels. Windmills used to have a “Mussels of the Day” feature, but I think they got rid of that idea months ago.

The mussels were cooked with chorizo, generous amounts of sausage, wine, and cilantro. Normally, the mussels contain lots of broth. This time, there was about two tablespoonfuls of broth at the bottom of the bowl, so I was unable to enjoy my favourite part of eating mussels, sopping up the flavourful broth with massive amounts of bread.

Jimmy ordered the crusted lamb chops, which came with a side of pureed veggies (cauliflower? turnips?), yogurt-mint sauce, and prunes. He felt the flavour combination was a little strange, so we ended up switching entrées after he had taken a few bites. It tasted rather boring, until I bit into a prune. It suddenly made sense! It was a “Eureka!” moment. The strong herbs, mild mint sauce, gamey lamb, and gentle sweetness of the prunes worked really well together. However, after a few bites, the flavour combination began to bore my taste buds again. I would not order this again.

I ordered the featured salad in an attempt to stick to The Diet. It was a mixed green salad with Fuji apples, pomegranate, mandarin oranges, fennel, and a roasted lemon vinaigrette. I added a chicken breast to it, since it didn’t sound substantial enough to be a dinner entrée. I loved this salad! The bright, summery flavours really made my night. I have become quite partial to fruits in my salads, so make of it what you will. Jimmy really enjoyed the salad. Skeptical at first, he said he was surprised at how well the vegetables paired with the fruit and the vinaigrette. He didn’t like the chicken breast because it was dry and tasteless, but otherwise, he said it was a dish he’d like to eat again.

I mentioned the service was lacking, but truthfully, the waitress was adequate. She was polite, asked about our food, refilled our drinks, and did all the right things. It seemed like she really didn’t want to be working that night, which is fine, but there was no extra effort, no genuine friendliness in her manner. I didn’t realize how much I value service until that night. I know I judged her quite harshly, but only because I’ve received excellent service from her before.

We used a coupon from the “Welcome Back” magazine that granted us 10% off an entrée with the purchase of another entrée and drink (I believe). Even with that discount, the bill came to $75 including tax and tip. At this point, though we both truly loved that salad, I doubt I’ll be craving Windmills anytime soon. Now that I know what goes into the salad, I can just as easily make it myself at home, ensuring good food and perfect service for great value!

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  1. my mom loves greek food, and it is Awsome!
    Keep the greek recipes comming. can't wait to try them!

  2. Thanks, Brian! The great thing about Greek cuisine is the punchiness and vibrance of the flavours. It's definitely one of my favourite food cultures.

    You're actually in luck because I have a Greek-inspired (I'd be lying if I said it was Greek) recipe post coming! I'm not sure if I'll get to it this week, but it's coming... eventually... at some point... perhaps....


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