"I want to be known across the board as a place that has great food, and that maybe doesn't serve meat," says Rachel Kesley, the exec chef of WaterCourse Foods, whichGretchen Kurtz reviews this week. And the food at WaterCourse can indeed be great, especially if you order from the chef's page section of the menu, where the dishes "switch seasonally and feel fresh and inspired," Kurtz says. In comparison, though, some of the old standards can seem substandard. See also: Behind the scenes at WaterCourse Foods
This review captures my feelings about WC. There's so much potential there if they could just concentrate on making amazing food that happens to be vegetarian (or vegan). Whether or not meat's involved, you still have to get the seasoning right, make sure the textures are complementary, the proportions of ingredients are right, the food tastes fresh, etc., and that's where WC has fallen down on my visits. Case in point: I had an artichoke soup there that had nice flavor, but there were bits of the fuzzy "choke" floating in the soup -- some prep chef hadn't taken the time to be sure all of the choke had been removed before pureeing the artichokes, and that completely killed the dish (the choke sticks in your throat and is generally unpleasant to eat). It's not a vegetarian thing, it's a food thing.
Have you eaten at WaterCourse foods lately? What did you think of your meal?
And what do you think of the concluding question in Kurtz's review:
I have often wondered why the farm-to-table movement of recent years hasn't spawned more vegetarian restaurants, and why, with the uptick in people forgoing animal products, there hasn't been an increase in restaurants of all kinds -- Italian, New American, Vietnamese, etc. -- that maybe don't serve meat. Isn't it time for "vegetarian" as an adjective to be dropped, just as we've outgrown the need for "lady" as a modifier for doctor or engineer?
Is it time? Post your thoughts below.