Since it’s new, open late, and in my neighborhood, I wanted to like this place. My neighbors suggested I try it and since they like two of the same places I like, I gave it a try this week.

The good points were the decor and our waitress, both were welcoming and cheery without being overbearing. The menu of small bites and drinks offered a nice cross section of old classics like an old fashioned (a bit too sweet for my taste, but a decent version) and new twists like the brussel sprouts with cider vinegar.

Unfortunately, the bad overwhelmed the good. The manager sternly told my friend when she entered, “Booths are reserved”, and then told me “No flash photos” when I tried to take pics of our food. Both of us have worked in the food business, so we are very respectful of reservation and photography rules, but instead of telling us their policies, the manager admonished us as if we should have read his mind. Maybe he was afraid I would write a review and post photos to illustrate my points (some fears do come true). He acted more like a patrol cop than a restaurant host and made us feel as if we had run a red light & run into a pedestrian.

The food is the main reason I will not go back.

The steak tartare was overdressed to the point of being inedible and the home made potato chip accompaniment was not fried enough to make all the chips crunchy (imagine soggy chips). Yes, the photo was taken with a flash, and no the flash did not wash out the color of the meat-the actual color was the pink you see because it was so overdressed.

The bacon and cheese stuffed mushroom caps sounded delicious, but they arrived lukewarm and aside from tasting greasy, they had no flavor (very hard to do when you use quality bacon in a dish). An order is only ONE, so the two you see on the plate constitutes two orders.

The best plate was the brussel sprouts which were highlighted with cider vinegar, but even they were not good enough to warrant finishing.

Sadly our bill for one drink, one soda, and three small plates was over $50 and all we wanted to do was leave to eat somewhere else and erase this meal from our minds and palates (we ended up at Westside Tavern where the service and food were both excellent).

Freddy Smalls Bar & Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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