I had been wanting to try out a new restaurant for awhile now, and last night my husband and I went to Paul Martin's American Bistro in Roseville, CA. When we first walked in, their atmosphere gave off the vibe of a high-end mob meet-up place with dark wood and really low lighting, similar to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, only the steakhouse has better food, and I don't think that highly of Ruth's Chris either. It seemed freakish that the entire staff except for the hostess was male: Abercrombie and Fitch style. We looked over the menu and must have waited a good 15 minutes before anyone came to our table, and mind you the restaurant was not even half full, and different members of the staff walked by us plenty of times.
When our server finally came to the table and I mentioned that I was told they had gluten free options, his tone while saying, " I guess that means the linguine is out, right?" made me nervous, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt. We ordered a prawn cocktail, but they were overcooked to the point that they felt very dense. Instead of the bursing, popping sound when bitten into--the mark of a perfectly cooked shrimp or prawn--they just sort of admitted defeat and gave in to our first bite. They really were missing that fresh pop I greatly enjoy about a fresh, perfectly cooked shrimp. And we only got 5 for $12.95. What a rip off.
Considering everything is made fresh on site and that's their angle--fresh and local--I felt 75% confident in ordering an entree. I ordered the grilled salmon and my husband ordered the grilled mahi mahi. Yes the food looked healthily appetizing when it finally came out, after roughly 40 minutes of waiting, but I had to do something I have never done in a restaurant before: pick up the salt & pepper shakers. I have never had such bland-tasting food before at a restaurant as nice looking as this. I get that they want it to be a healthy meal, as the serving sizes were what they really should be (kudos!): about 8 spears of grilled asparagus, 6 tiny little potato pieces, and an 8oz piece of fish, but give me a break. The asparagus was over peppered, and the fish didn't taste like anything. Did they not teach the kitchen staff how to use the spice cabinet? My husband felt the same way about his fish, and we both ended the meal feeling extremely underwhelmed. So underwhelmed, in fact, that my hubbie reported that he was basically just "eating fast, so that we could move on to other things." That was that, $60 down the drain.
The only upside to the evening was that the meal did not make me ill, so what I ate must have been gluten free, but I would not go back there again. Luckily our evening was much more fun after the meal, otherwise the night would have been a complete letdown.