This review is for the Hoist House restaurant (side note: I'm sure there is some great significance for the name but honestly - what a bad name for a restaurant!).
We were a group of eight and were seated at a long table. I understand the need for long tables in restaurants for large parties as rounds take up more room, but seating eight folks at a long table just means that the occupants are doomed to do a last-minute ""conversation shuffle"" upon reaching the table. And for those who haven't experienced it, a conversation shuffle is where everybody, upon realizing that they're about to get roped into a long table. frantically jogs and shuffles to sit next to someone they actually want to engage with. Because at a long table, there is simply NO WAY for the whole table to carry on a conversation like you can around a round table. As anticipated, the conversations promptly broke off into two: one for each end of the table. It got to the point where one of our party seated toward the middle actually had to tell his story twice, once to each end of the table. Plus, it was REALLY LOUD in the dining area. Like, I-can't-quite-hear-you-directly-across-the-table-from-me-so-I'll-just-nod-appropriately loud.
We started with the Arcadian Mixed Greens salad (Poached Pear, Glazed Pecans, Saint Agur Blue Cheese, Pear Vinaigrette). The salad was overall good, but the pear vinaigrette (which was a creamy pink color) was a bit sweet and overpowered the rest of the salad. The blue cheese was three chunks, serious blue cheese flavor there! And the pecans were sparse.
Next up, I ordered the RR Ranch Beef Filet (Boursin Cheese, Yukon Gold mashed Potatoes, Swiftwater Cabernet-Mushroom Jus) and it was divine. Asked for it to be cooked medium rare, and that is exactly how it arrived. The beef flavor melded nicely with the jus and the boursin perched atop the filet. The Yukon Gold mashers were creamy and divine, a perfect bed for the beef to rest on. The roasted broccolini was quite good as well, and balanced the decadence of the plate nicely.
Service was spot-on great, no complaints there. Wine list: kinda stunk. I know it's a winery, but still. They were out of at least two wines, and that dwindled the wine list options to about five. Seriously?