Hemingway’s: Not as good as it needs to be

It is not for lack of sincerity nor imagination that Hemingway’s fails. The service is efficient, the menu appeals and the wine list is unmatched around town. The food, however, has just not been very good.

My birthday meal Friday night was memorable, but mainly for the wine we had and the company we kept. Early arrivals like roasted beet salad (drab, and almost entirely undressed) and a cheese plate (I don’t think I’ve had flavorless Manchego before) set the tone, and were followed by more okay-but-not-great dishes. Slices of duck breast paid a distant second fiddle to a flavorful mushroom and lentil garnish. A fellow diner was treated to nice sesame-crusted salmon with mediocre potatoes. There was a spinach salad that was forgettable.

My first impression of Hemingway’s last year was of an ambitious, big-city transplant. With excellent food and trendy interior, it would not have been out of place in Washington, D.C. Return visits however have been notable more for a hefty bill and lackluster food.

Oh, and what’s with the creepy, overtanned, older-guy-in-sportcoat vibe at the bar?

Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

4 thoughts

  1. LOL I love the bar comment!

    I had dinner there 2 weeks ago and had the pork chop and while it was fine, it was topped with what I can only describe as pesto-like caper spread. Now I love capers, but imagine dumping an entire jar in the food processor and then topping the chop with it. Way, way, way too much of a good thing.

    On a previous trip I had the sesame salmon too and all it did was make me very sad that Trattoria Strada Nova and it’s much better version are gone 😦

  2. I am a fequent diner at Hemingway’s and enjoy the pork dish very much. I’m sorry that someone else did not experience it the same way I do. The Pork Chop is topped with a green pepper corn sauce. Green pepper corns may look similar to capers, all the while being smaller and posessing an entirely different flavor.

    I do agree with the bar comment, however when I dine I try to enjoy myself and not bother so much with what other people are doing at the bar.

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