Friday, October 3, 2008

Julian's (39 of 50)

Restaurant: Julian's
Cuisine: American/local/vegan friendly
Price: Slightly above average
Score: 39* (Average of 42 and 36)
Would I eat there again? Yes

UPDATED 2/24/09:
Upon a second visit Julian's was still good, but not as exceptional as the first time I dined there.
They still have the fantastic beer selection, and very interesting menu items, but this time they did not manage to execute the dishes quite as well.
When I revisit a restaurant I will average the score of the two visits to get a more accurate representation of the quality of the food over time.

Julian's has one of the best beer selections in the city. 8-10 quality beers on tap, (i.e. not the standard american pee water most restaurants feel obligated to offer) and a further 40-60 bottled beers, including a nice selection of 750ml high-end beers (Chimay grand reserve, Dogfish Head options, etc..) A smattering of wines and interesting cocktails (and a good attempt at offering non-alcoholic tasty drinks) round out the beverage choices.

The food is always innovative. Many restaurants have very standard menus: Pizza option, chicken option, random steak cut, etc... Julians combines a plethora of ingredients so that it takes a while to read the menu- to understand what they are actually offering you. And the result is generally very good. Presentation is attractive, taste is full, balanced, and fairly complex.

What some people dislike about Julian's:
Julian's has attitude. They are very popular, and hip, and they know it. You seat yourself, which they sometimes don't tell you right away, and are not in a hurry to attend your every whim. The food takes a long time- a result of the care they put into making it. When you go to Julians, go for an experience- while you are waiting for your food you can easily satisfy yourself checking out the walls, the drinks list, the other diners, and the staff. It almost feels like the staff just happens to be hanging out there that evening, and ohh yeah, they can bring your food I suppose.

If you want a restaurant that has innovative food pared with a fantastic beer selection (and a pretty decent mixed drinks list) Julian's could be the best in the state.

(At the end of every review, I will include the following breakdown of the meal. As reviews accumulate I will include a list of the top restaurants on the blog. An average score is 30, a perfect meal would be 50. Let's see how long Julian's lasts at number 1!)
Julian's on Urbanspoon

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