Has watching Chopped or other Food Network programs made all of us more critical of the meals we get in restaurants? To some extent, Bob and I have always been picky restaurant eaters. As I’ve mentioned before, Bob is such an excellent cook that we don’t eat out that often and when we do, we’re pretty selective about where we eat. So I’m automatically in “critical” mode when a meal is set in front of us.
We’ve always been happy with Mom’s Diner in Pahrump, Nevada, but this past May we ran into a few disappointing meals there, so we tried a couple of new places. (We’re loyal nearly to a fault — if we like the food, we’ll eat someplace so often the servers get to know us.)
According to Trip Advisor, Symphony (at Pahrump’s winery — a story in itself about how there can possibly be such a thing in the middle of the desert) is the top-rated restaurant in town, so we hunted it down for lunch.
The meal started out promising, with crab cakes as an appetizer:
But Bob’s meatloaf was boring (a lesson in how you can mix high-end steak leftovers into a loaf and still fail if you don’t add the right additional ingredients to spice it up)…
…and my dish? Well, can you guess what it is?
If you said “ravioli,” come to the front of the line to collect your gold star. Yep, the menu said “open-faced ravioli,” and I guess that’s a good name for it, and the full mushrooms tucked inside were a treat, but come on…. to call this a “ravioli” seems a stretch, don’t you think? I scraped off the blue cheese and was grateful the server suggested adding the shrimp (at quite the added charge, too).
Was the food bad? No. But despite the upscale decor and the emphasis on service (I have to say Natalie was very good), something about Symphony just screamed that it was trying really hard to be something it wasn’t. Which maybe makes sense for a restaurant at a winery, where people are usually more interested in what they’re imbibing than what they’re ingesting (drink enough and everything tastes good). Unfortunately, when the best thing you can say about a place is that their maple-syrup butter is the best thing you ate there, then that speaks volumes, doesn’t it?
So despite the name, we weren’t hearing music here and won’t go back.