Digesting The Reviews: Big Fish, Dirty Pond

It must be a Mountain View week as Michael Bauer’s Wednesday review brings him to Chez TJ. Bauer can’t say enough good things about Chef Christopher Kostow (“a great chef trapped in the wrong restaurant”), despite the multiple shortcomings of the restaurant itself:

The wine pairing for the Menu Gastronomique (four courses, with choices, $80) consists of three wines for an additional $45. The pours are relatively small, which might still be acceptable if the wines really matched. However, they were poorly stored – not only were they served at the wrong temperature, but some were also so full of sediment we couldn’t finish them. I’ve also never been to this caliber of restaurant where the wine wasn’t poured from the bottle at tableside. Here the sommelier simply brings filled glasses to the table.The food is a different story. From the first bite – a trio of dressed radishes, warm cheese ball and a quail egg cut in two and topped with caviar – it’s apparent the chef possesses a dramatic sensibility.

The theme of great chef in an otherwise subpar restaurant runs true throughout the review, from “the sensual silkiness of halibut” to the “silverware so flimsy and worn that it chafes with each bite.” All in all, one of Bauer’s more entertaining reviews. [SFGate]

The rest, after the jump.

The Bay Guardian’s Cheap Eats column heads to Burgermeister while Paul Reidinger checks out Kabul City, Robert Lauriston goes Mayan at Popol Vuh, Chowhounds critique Out the Door, and finally, Bar Bites likes new wine bar District.

[Photo courtesy: Chez TJ]

Digesting The Reviews: Big Fish, Dirty Pond