Hubbard Inn-Go for a Cocktail, Skip the Dinner
It’s a well known fact that 3 of the most important factors of a successful restaurant are location, location and location. Hubbard Inn is a thriving example of this. Ok, so maybe they’ve got a couple of other things going for them: a cool interior and an on-trend ‘old is new’ cocktail list. But it’s certainly not the food that has this place packed from the moment the loop breaks free from the work day.
We snuck in just in time to grab a seat at one of the massive communal table. I’ve never understood why they seat a party of 2 four feet across from each other, when they could seat us directly next to each other, making a conversation actually viable. So we just had to yell to each other across the table, while I secretly wanted to chime in on the couple next to us. I know, it’s bad, but I couldn’t help it! Their conversation was way more clear than the one I was attempting to have with my date who I couldn’t hear.
Anyway, on to the food. First was the Spinach and Goat Cheese Salad with apple, pumpkin, cranberries, walnuts and a sherry-bacon vinaigrette. A decidedly fall-like salad for a spring menu, huh? I guess I was expecting all of those ingredients to have somehow been united but in actuality, they weren’t at all. It was raw, sliced apple, mushy, cooked pumpkin, and dried cranberries tossed with some greens that sat beneath an enormous hunk of goat cheese covered in un-toasted, stale walnut pieces. It was like someone found a bag of walnuts that had been knocked behind the basement refrigerator 7 years ago and thought, “Hey! We’d better use these walnuts before they go bad!” Yeah, not pretty.
Stale walnuts ruining perfectly good goat cheese.
Next, we had an Octopus and Shrimp Salad with olives, capers and red bell peppers. It, too, left much to be desired. The shrimp was tasteless and the octopus didn’t have the help of what often makes octopus delicious: char from a grill or a pan. It was simply boiled and not even until tender; it was still tough. The red bell peppers were straight from a can and there were enough capers on the plate to kill a person. Seriously.
Nothing to see here, folks!
1/2 cup of capers is too many!
We had one more to go: Grilled Hanger Steak with blue cheese, confit tomatoes and chimichurri. This probably would have been ok minus the blue, but there was no getting around it. The steak was cooked nicely and the chimichurri (a South American herb sauce) wasn’t bad either (beside its excessive oil). Apart from the fact that the flavor combination just didn’t work for me, there was just too much aggressive, pungent, stingingly sharp cheese that the dish was even hard to eat. In fact, we didn’t even come close to finishing it. Oh yeah, and there was nothing ‘confit’ about the tomatoes.
A jumbled up mess of steak 'n' stuff. Not very pretty.
I think it’s safe to say that the food here is a bust. Cross it off the list.
The space is visually cool, even if the acoustics are piss pour. When we went, it was packed with people in suits, rushing to get their cocktail on. Definitely a rockin’ happy hour scene.
And the service was friendly and adequet even if they did try to push us through by bringing our steak 5 minutes after our salads. The food runner could tell by my face that we weren’t even close to ready for it and immediately offered to take it back to the kitchen. I’m glad I didn’t have to tell him to do it, he just knew. Now, I pretty much expected them to bring back the same steak 20 minutes later, over cooked as hell from sitting under the heat lamp, but they didn’t. A new steak was cooked and its temp was as we’d requested: med-rare. So that was a plus on their side.
The Short Version (Out of 10)…
Overall impression: 6
Would I go back?
Nah… I’ll leave it for the 9 to 5-ers.