After attending an event at Rialto last Monday night, we decided to look for somewhere more affordable and casual for dinner. At first we tried Russell House but were told the wait would be almost an hour so we wandered around the snow covered streets and happened upon The Sinclair Kitchen. To be honest, I had never heard of it. My friend, Erika attended the opening night of this place and thought it was quite good.
The Sinclair seems to be more of a locale for small venue bands, which a lot of people make positive comment to on yelp and other sites. We didn’t get a chance to see this part of the space but I would be interested in going back to check it out. The restaurant space is located on two floors, which houses a cool looking bar and long high top tables with fun artwork and an upstairs dining area, located in front of the open kitchen.
We were escorted upstairs to what seemed to be a very stark and somewhat uninspiring feeling dining area and seated right in front of the kitchen. This part was quite cool as you could watch the chef’s at work but I didn’t really enjoy the space itself as there was no ambiance.
The menus are interesting and don’t seem to follow a particular theme. They do have a very innovative cocktail list, which had some fun choices. On the food menu there are a number of southern dishes like seafood gumbo and prawn and grits, mixed in with some standard fare like veggie and beef burgers. The prices are good with most entrées around $20~.
Considering the place was quiet it did take some time for us to get any attention from a waiter. Our waiter did turn up and was not really knowledgeable about the drinks or the food menu, admitting to us later that she was new. Myself and Nancy started with just a glass of Pinot Bianco while Erika picked a more adventurous cocktail called the Truant, a very refreshing cocktail with a slight kick.
For appetizers we picked the Local Roasted Beet. Nicely flavorful, sweet and really quite delightful. However the beets fade into insignificance next to the Disco Fries. Insane artery clogging goodness! Crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside and soaked in cheesy fabulousness with salty bites of chorizo. I would go back just for these alone.
We put in our orders for entrées and everything arrived in a timely manner except for Nancy’s burger. Erika and I had almost finished our entrées by the time it did arrived. Our waiter did apologize to us for the mistake and for the wait, which was appreciated.
For my entrée I ordered the Shellfish Gumbo. A super spicy gumbo sauce with a good amount of seafood resting on a bed of crispy sticky rice covered with even spicier andouille. While I thought the gumbo was okay as I really spicy food, I wasn’t particularly overwhelmed by it.
Erika enjoyed the Crispy Pork Sandwich, which she said was really tangy and sweet and it had that not what you would expect wow factor.
I was facing the kitchen so could see everything and I noticed one the chef’s actually eat one of Nancy’s fries and then put them onto her plate. I can only assume he was making sure they were still warm before adding them to her dish. Both Erika and I honestly could not stop laughing and really didn’t know why this amused us so much. This may happen more than we realize but with an open kitchen they should try and not to make it so obvious. He really did seem to enjoy it.
Nancy commented that her burger was delicious! She has no idea what the secret sauce was but wished she did so she could put it on everything.
Overall, I thought we had a decent night at The Sinclair. Service was slow but the food was good and Disco Fries are worthy of a visit alone. I did think that they should have either offered us a drink, dessert or even comped Nancy’s burger but beyond the initial apology nothing was done.