CellarDoor (#303, 7/11/14) – 81
The number one thing I want to say about CellarDoor is: stop worrying about parking in the CBD! I am amazed how many people comment that they may try it, but they hear parking is a nightmare. It’s the CBD with thousands of people working down there all day. At the end of the day, most go home and voila, you have tons of parking. To be sure, there is a lot of construction, but it’s still not difficult to find a parking space.
Having said that, I definitely recommend trying CellarDoor. It’s in a very cool building with an interesting menu and good drinks. I was very impressed that i went before it even had its grand opening and everything seemed to run very smoothly. You could tell some people were new, but the main people were really on top of everything.
I tried the adobo glazed wings to start. They are deboned wings stuffed with rice with a tasty sauce. Technically, they aren’t fully deboned, but just the end bone still there…end bone? Good enough. They are very tasty, but the sauce was almost a little overwhelming, maybe tell them to go easy on the sauce. The ukoy was also recommended to me, but I didn’t make the move; sounds very interesting though – shrimp chips? For my main course, I tried the beef brisket burger. The brisket was outstanding; I wasn’t a big fan of the roll, almost a po-boy bun. It wasn’t bad, but seemed like it could be upgraded. Maybe the best part was the Summer of Sling drink. It had rye, rum, herbsaint and other items. Very tasty. Great summer drink. Prices weren’t that bad either – appetizers as low as $6, main dishes under 20. I was a bit concerned as many profiles talked about “upscale.” While it is upscale, the prices are reasonable. As far as food (and drinks), I’m going to give CellarDoor a 41 out of 50. Will definitely like to go back after they really settle into a groove.
The atmosphere was very good as well. It has a small bar and a dining area that holds about 15 tables, I would guess. It seemed like it could get a little loud in the dining area, but not bad. the music started with some jazz and about 8 p.m. it shifted towards more funky hipster jazz. Overall, it definitely has a hipster vibe to it. It also has a nice outdoor patio area which has great potential for a happy hour gathering. For atmosphere, I’m giving it a 22 out of 30.
The service was great. I ate at the bar and the bartenders were very friendly and food came out promptly. Some of the drinks are elaborate “mixology” creations, but it really didn’t slow things up too much. I was truly amazed by this aspect with it being a brand-new place. I’ll give it an 18 out of 20 in service.
Final score = 81.