Saturday, January 24, 2009

Chalk food+ Wine:

My friend Janelle and I went to Chalk food+wine in Covington last night.

We were eager to try it out after reading so many reviews.
Janelle made reservations for 7:45, and David dropped us off about 10 minutes early.

We entered Chalk

and were led to the room in the back, dimly lit with candles and sporting a huge fake clove of garlic suspended from the rafters.

David didn’t come because he didn’t feel well, and I decided to wait until he came with us to get something more adventurous, like the much acclaimed duck sloppy joe.

The menu on the website is not as expansive as the menu that Chalk actually has. Also, their beer selection is different. Janelle wanted and Young’s double chocolate stout, but they didn’t have it anymore.

She went with a ginger lime sort of concoction. ($8.00). I got an Arrogant Bastard (also $8.00)

After a few sips, Janelle said her drink disappointed her. The lime pulp (and there was a lot) kept getting stuck in her teeth.

Janelle, disappointed

I tried it, and to me it tasted like key lime pie—a combination of vanilla, ginger and lime….and lime pulp.
She’s a vegetarian, so I decided to hold off on the Bacon wrapped Bacon—bacon with sage wrapped around pork belly—until I had another carnivore there to help me with it. We chose an appetizer of bread and cheese. ($12.00)

From left to right: yuck, yum, yum

My friends know that I love cheese. I’ve bought hundreds of dollars worth of cheese (seriously) and I figured chalk would come through with something very interesting.

I was wrong. Looking through the reviews for Chalk I saw that they served someone else port salut, and they found it disappointing as well.

We didn’t get port salut, but it was close. We got some sort of aged blue cheese paired with sliced grapes, parmesan with red grapefruit, and Chimay beer cheese with apples and flat bread.
I know that I could buy an entire block of Chimay cheese for $7.00 at the Party Source in Bellevue.

I agree with the other reviewer—I’m disappointed in Chalk’s choice of pedestrian cheeses.
We each tried the cheeses in opposite order—I started with the Chimay cheese and apples, which I found quite pleasant—I’d compare it to port salut—a semi soft, cows milk cheese. The parmesan was my favorite, it went very well with the grapefruit.

Janelle tried the blue cheese first and made an awful face. She said it tasted like “old.” She preferred the Chimay cheese with apples. She liked the parmesan too.

Upon her insistence, I tried the aged blue cheese.
Ugh. Blargh. I told her it tastes like I was munching on old gym socks. I spend the next five minutes swishing Arrogant Bastard around, trying to eliminate the taste.

We both decided to get grilled cheese sandwiches ($8.00), since the Veggie tacos advertised on the online menu were no longer available.

Janelle saw an order of fries go by and decided she wanted that as well, so we put in an order for them.

We ruminated a little more about Janelle’s odd drink and fussed with my camera—in the dimly lit room, I was forced to use my flash, which didn’t go so well on the bright white plates—it reflected the light back and washed the whole plate out. The Chalk pictures are a little subpar for that reason. We decided we would come back when it’s light outside and not sit in the “romantic” section.

I tried to take a picture of the grilled cheese when it came out anyway and I think you’ll get the general idea.

What is that? It looks delicious!

When they came out Janelle and I just stared at them for a second. They were like no grilled cheese we had ever seen. Four well-grilled pieces of bread with cheese melted over the top—it looks like they may have blasted it with the little torches used primarily for crème brulee—stuffed with cheddar, mozzarella and some other creamy cheese that I could not identify. It also came with a cup of tomato soup for dipping.

I could not finish mine and brought half home for David. Our waitress, Carrie, advised me that it reheats well. Janelle said that Chalk had redeemed itself for it’s pulpy cocktail with the best grilled cheese ever.

Janelle’s fries never came out, which was a happy coincidence because she was too full to eat them. Our waitress did notice before bringing our bill that something was missing and took the fries off.
Our bills were the same—$23.32 each, not bad.

We stopped by the bathroom on our way out—sadly, there was no chalk for us to write with, but I had fun taking pictures in the double mirrors.

Through the looking glass

We called a cab to take us to our next destination—Clique lounge, which has a large martini list and live music. It was only a couple blocks away, but Covington gets sketchy after dark, and we were both wearing heels.

I’d say my first assessment of Chalk is annoyance at the cheese experience and how the online menu (even the beverages) doesn’t match what they actually serve. I think that it should be kept up to date.

The grilled cheese was extremely good, and I will go back to try some other items on the menu—the sloppy joe and the pork belly, as well as dessert.

Janelle and I were much too full to even look at the menu.
The cab dropped us off at Clique, which looked surprisingly quiet. Janelle pulled on the door to get in and….it wouldn’t open.

They were closed! We watched the taillights of the cab disappear down the street. My attention was immediately distracted by the crazy man shambling towards us. I looked at Janelle.
It was dark, we were alone, and we were starting to freak.

First order of business, we decided, was to get inside.
We took off down the block, passing pawnshops and dark storefronts before the crazy zombie could catch us.

“We’re going to the first bar we see”. Janelle said. I agreed.

And thus begins Laura and Janelle’s excellent misadventure…..
to be continued in the next post.

Chalk Food + Wine on Urbanspoon

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I try to be honest, fair and keep a good sense of humor in my posts--I would appreciate if you follow the same policy with your comments.