After a couple of great, good and not-so, visits to Underwood, we are rewarded with good service and good food on this recent lunch. The food was well-crafted and the menu full of nice flourishes on the French Bistro theme. There is a definite interest by the chef of world cuisine and he manages to integrate it well.
Dark wood and zinc topped tables set the stage with red leather booths, ceiling fans and pale yellow walls. There a few tables on the patios (with heaters) and some bar seating. If you happen to be near Graton, this is a good landing spot for a pleasant lunch or casual dinner if you happen to be near Graton.
Mushroom Soup with Truffle Oil (Special)
Nice. A little shallow on flavor but mousse-y and showing the mushrooms. The truffle oil added a nice earthiness.
Thai Steak Salad
The steak was a bit chewy but the sauce was lovely. Good contrast of crunch, chew, spice and sweetness.
Good but something missing. Perhaps a dressing to bind the cheese walnut and pear together? The elements on their own were excellent.
Crispy skin, succulent interior with nicely done lentils underneath. Not the best confit ever but a good one and not too greasy. The mâche was a nice foil and the sausage was good but a strange element.
A favorite of mine. The pita bread was soft and crispy where it needed it. Tsatsiki sauce was a creamier style, which goes well with the onions and tomatoes. (On our last visit it was more like garlic mayonnaise but still worked with the dish.) Lamb wonderfully flavorful but on the chewier side today, but this did not distract from it being a great mesh of flavors. The crispy frites are very crunchy and lightly salted. I like the tomato cilantro sauce which accompanying them but it's an odd choice with the lamb.
Asian-style with a nice, crisp coleslaw. The ribs are perfect; meat falling off the bone. The BBQ sauce is sweet, with a chinese-style seasoning.
You may notice that we do not give out a lot of praise. Having been to so many high-quality restaurants, it's pretty tough to impress us.
Most of our reviews are based on just one visit. We neither have the time nor the money (or often, the inclination) to visit most restaurants multiple times. So, please keep in mind that a single-visit review is a snapshot - the restaurant may be "on it" that day - or not. If the meal has a calamity involved (foreign objects in the food, wine poured on us, etc.) we try not to let it shade the overall review.
We pay for the food and beverages; restaurants never comp us. We try to be discreet about taking photos so that the staff doesn't notice/get an idea we're going to do a review. We rarely take notes in the restaurant.
Like the rest of our website, we update our restaurant review pages based upon subsequent visits.