Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

The Herbfarm


Recommended Posts

I'll elaborate, Mamster: If I ever catch you eating at this place I'll tie you up and make you listen to Yanni CDs for 4-5 hours.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Give up on this place and go have Kerry Sear cook for you.  Order the wines you want or not. Tell him to create a tasting menu for you with herbs and flowers in every course.  Go home happy and flex your muscles by accepting or rejecting suggested wine pairings.

Steve Klc, could you please elaborate on your meal at Cascadia? How long ago were you there?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not relevant to this thread Blue. If tls were to post a report about his experience at Cascadia or how he knows Kerry isn't in his kitchen, I'd appreciate it and probably respond there. Since I met Kerry, got to know him a bit and formed a high opinion of him, things may have changed.

Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not relevant to this thread Blue.  If tls were to post a report about his experience at Cascadia or how he knows Kerry isn't in his kitchen, I'd appreciate it and probably respond there.  Since I met Kerry, got to know him a bit and formed a high opinion of him, things may have changed.

Clever Steve Klc. However, you were the one who first brought up Cascadia/Kerry Sear in this thread after first trashing the Herbfarm. :hmmm:

Back to the Herbfarm then...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

True Blue, but only obliquely. I'm trashing--or at least raising some speculation about--the concept and customer service policies of the Herbfarm, as reported by Southern Girl. Believe me, if I were in attendance my opinion might be different--I am, really, all about what is on the plate--and might have been so swayed by Jerry's magical dishes that I could look past the dog and pony show and the legion of problematic non-food issues as well, diminshing their importance in the grand scheme of things. But I know myself--and I am surely not alone among eGulleteers reading this and saying the same thing I said--albeit with a little poetic license--I'm just not going.

I won't accept the contract--the offer--which this chef and restaurant appear to be making to me.

If I was clever, Blue, it just slipped out, unintentionally. But the fact remains I'm not in the Pacific NW to know the current scuttlebut about Kerry and Cascadia and any potential decline since he opened. Seems to me "Decidely Northwest" as potential gimmick is something worth fleshing out on a separate thread as well--tls raises an important issue: I'd think either ingredients are sourced from the Cascades and the region as promised and promoted or they aren't and whether it takes more than sourcing regional ingredients and trying to bring the best out of them to qualify as "Decidely Northwest" is a legitimate question. A question, by the way, we have all over the site in terms of micro regions and terroir.

On that thread, a question I'd ask of you locals is if Kerry's self-identified "Decidely Northwest" cuisine is viable--how special or unique is it, in the context of other chefs out there? Was he just the first to coin and market the phrase "Decidely Northwest?" If so, kudos to him and he wouldn't be the first savvy chef to position himself strategically.

I sense some of the same savvy in how the Herbfarm has positioned itself, wouldn't you agree?

Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Meow....at least the food was good!!! I am very un-new age...and the Herbfarm definitely has that new age-touchy-feely- thing going on...

Funny . . . when we ate there last December, we sat at a communal table. I thought it would be "fun." Before the meal, one very new-agey lady asked everyone at the table to state their name and the greatest love in their life. That crap just totally chafes me, so I did a quick :::shun::: Shoulda told her my greatest love was my dildo collection or something. That would have shut her up, surely, but it was my husband's birthday and I was trying to pretend that I have manners.

"Save Donald Duck and Fuck Wolfgang Puck."

-- State Senator John Burton, joking about

how the bill to ban production of foie gras in

California was summarized for signing by

Gov. Schwarzenegger.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Give up on this place and go have Kerry Sear cook for you.

Hmm. Well, as someone who has eaten at both Cascadia and the Herbfarm a couple of times, when it comes down to the food on the plate, I gotta say the better food came out of Jerry Traunfeld's kitchen.

Pretty vitriolic post Steve Klc. Who put ants in your pants?! I never really thought much about the dog & pony show, I guess I was there for the food and didn't really let that get in the way of my having a good time. ;-) It takes a lot to wreck my buzz, and I was too goddam excited about eating there to get cranky about the 'show'.

the cancellation policy at the HF is such that you are charged *if your place(s) cannot be filled by the night of the reservation*. People here know that you can call the HF and inquire about cancellations a day or two in advance. Tables are almost always filled again. The 'reservation fee' is annoying, I'll agree with that. BUT would it stop me from going? hell no.

Speaking of policies, at Cascadia, if one person at the table orders a tasting menu, all people at the table must have a tasting menu. He won't mix 'order off the regular menu' and 'tasting menus' at the same table.

I think a lot of people like having wine paired with the food. Especially when you are talking about 9 courses. In the restaurants where you choose your own wine to go with a 9 course menu, most people end up with a a bottle or two that only kinda/sorta goes with most of the dishes.

Unfortunately for southern girl, the wine wasn't to her liking that night. Both times I've been there the wine was fabulous.

Besides, since when do chefs give a damn about "customer service policy"?? Bourdain bitches and moans about the customers and threatens going postal on the dining room during the rush. Well, maybe pastry chefs care ;-)

I think its a shame that you'd let something like that get in the way of eating fabulous food. I don't let ANYTHING get in the way of eating good food. It would take the owner/chef personally insulting me for no good reason to keep me away ;-) Hell, maybe it would take more than that!

Born Free, Now Expensive

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Give up on this place and go have Kerry Sear cook for you.

Hmm. Well, as someone who has eaten at both Cascadia and the Herbfarm a couple of times, when it comes down to the food on the plate, I gotta say the better food came out of Jerry Traunfeld's kitchen.

Well, his food does cost twice or thrice as much as that at Cascadia.

I notice from the website that Cascadia offers a vegetarian menu at a lower price than the regular tasting menu, with some delicious-sounding dishes. I'm not vegetarian, but this is a nice accommodation, pricewise. As I am not much of a wine drinker, the beverage policy at the Herb Farm doesn't attract me either.

Hungry Monkey May 2009
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know that I piled on earlier in the thread, but I think at this point the good ol' Farm is getting beaten about the head and neck excessively. The fact remains that the food there is stunning, as in, takes me to a higher plane of consciousness stunning. Yes, some of the accoutrements are annoying, but franky I'd wade through waist deep $#!^ to have some of the things I've had there and not even blink.

I almost want to call them and find out if this single winery thing is a permanent change, because I've never run into that there. As I mentioned before, the food-wine pairings I've had there were very well executed. If they have changed to a single winery for each dinner type model, that is truly a shame and they should be further beaten about the head and neck for it!

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went to the Herbfarm foremost for the food...which was excellent...and hoping for good wine pairings...now I know...just choose off the list totally(or supplement the wines chosen)...I know to take a walk when the show starts...I also wouldn't have objected to a "one winery" concept...IF (and in this case it proved to be a big IF) the winery chosen could provide better than average (and I am being generous to call the wines I had average) wines to pair with the foods...Granted, I would have much preferred a wider range of producers and appelations considering the cellar at the Herbfarm...but, that said, Argyle was the winery the next night and that would have been great...they make good wines...there are numerous wineries that could fill the bill...Chehalem IMO wasn't one of them. I think if you are familiar with the agenda...you can avoid some of the pitfalls faced by first time diners and have a much more enjoyable first visit than the "average bear" :raz:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

sg,

Are you impressed by the $#!^ storm your little review of the Herbfarm has provoked! :laugh: .......

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Just to add to the "storm"...I just received my Amex bill...and was charged for two full dinners...I "misunderstood" the "policy" of the Herbfarm...inside 30 days if they do not resell your seat...even if you amend the reservation count in advance during that period...you are responsible for the FULL COST for the original number of seats you book... :angry::angry::angry:

So far Amex is looking in to the matter...But, needless to say I will never set foot in the Herbfarm again...What I thought was the original policy was ridiculous enough...but, this is outrageous.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm stunned with this latest revelation.

I thought the 30 day $50 policy was bad enough, but charging for the full meal? I can't even believe it. Especially in Seattle. Is this known to be a policy at any other restaurant anywhere? Herbfarm has gotten way too big for their britches.

Boo Herbfarm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Contact Ruby and go to small claims court. (I'm kinda serious on this. You've got a valid grip that they didn't explain the policy to you, and it would be interesting to see what they would do. By chance you are in California -- "17200".)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Southern Girl--welcome to my side of the fence. Not that I was feeling lonely over here or anything. But I'm sorry we had to meet under these circumstances. Seems my "vitriolic remarks," according to malarkey, were just a gentle breeze compared to what they would have been had I known this was the policy. I'm open to other suggestions for most onerous and unreasonable restaurant in the country from the perspective of customer service.

Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve...believe me...if I had known this was the policy...I never would have taken a reservation...their explaining of the "policy" led me to believe I would be out $50 for the empty seat...which although ridiculous I could have lived with...but I never would have put myself on the line for the extra $205.05 (that includes meal wine tax tip) I am looking at now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...