Wednesday, October 7, 2009

StilettoGOP on The Auditorium

StilettoGOP went to The Auditorium recently for dinner. I asked her to write a li'l ole review of her experience. Anyone that reads her comments knows she is going to be quite candid.

The other night I was in my usual quandary about where to eat. I'm sick of the "welcome to Bonefish, your table will be ready in an hour" type greeting. Nor do I like a place to be empty. I like a happy medium. I'd only had drinks at The Auditorium before, so I thought I would try it for dinner. I was NOT disappointed. Trust me, as someone who eats out at least twice a week, I could write some pretty nasty reviews on a few places around here. So this little "FYI" piece about my Auditorium experience comes with complete honesty.

I went on a night with no scheduled concert, and at first I was bummed to see that they still had live music. I'm a person who likes to actually HEAR the person I am sitting with at dinner. However, I was pleased to see that the live jazz entertainment was tucked away at a perfect distance for you to enjoy the music, as well as your date. The atmosphere is unusual. Think, historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville turns restaurant, but more metropolitan. The restaurant has soft lighting, vibrant abstract jazz art, and a few bears thrown in for playfulness (you'll see.) The mood was light and fun, yet you still get a fine dining vibe. There were two tables of celebrations going on, and both groups seemed to be having a great time. The owner's obviously don't seem to mind if you bring in your own balloon bouquets to add to your festivity.

As I sat down, I instantly liked our server. I could tell he'd be one of those helpful, yet not annoying servers. I was right. He was fabulous in describing the cocktail choices. I went with the Pimm's Cup because he used the word "refreshing", and mentioned the cucumber in it. That sparked my curiosity because I immediately thought, hey, spiked spa water! And that's what it tasted like. So now you can skip the spa and have a Pimm's Cup and some jazz instead.

Now on with the show-- the food. The menu is Southern with a few unique twists. Instead of the usual crab cake appetizer you see all over town, The Auditorium offers a sweet potato crawfish cake with a creole honey mustard. I ordered it and found it was as good as it sounds. Mine could have stayed in the pan a smidge longer, but the flavor was definitely there. For my entree, I chose the pan-broiled delta catfish, with smoked Gouda grits, topped with roasted corn-tomato salsa and a Tabasco butter sauce. Anything that says "Tabasco", I'm in. It actually wasn't even that spicy, but I appreciated how it gave a usually bland catfish some flavor without drowning it in butter and garlic (ahem, AJ's). Some restaurants around here should pay attention to this as they are becoming one trick ponies with their fish. However, the star of the dish was the corn-tomato salsa. The texture of the corn with the creaminess of the grits and cheese was really, really good. It was more than I could eat as they weren't shy on the size of the portion. There was also a pretty pickled okra garnish that quietly reminded you you were in the South. The whole dish was beautiful: the reds of the fresh tomato, yellows of the corn and cheesy grits, white flaky fish in its sauce... hungry? ;-)

Anyway, I thought it rocked. I'd go back just for the atmosphere alone, but when the food was that good too, I thought I'd let you guys know about it. And I'm not even getting paid!

I wouldn't turn down a complementary Pimm's Cup, though.


Anonymous said...

Nice review but no words on your thoughts regarding the value equation.

Anonymous said...

Sounds wonderful! Since you dine out weekly, you should start suggesting other great eats. I also like that you post gallery paintings-NICE.

Anonymous said...

I'm going.

Anonymous said...

I went for lunch on Saturday and it was our first time, it was great and will be going back. The price was what I am use to paying everywhere else and I felt the presentation was also very nice for the price that I paid. Also I go out to eat every Saturday for lunch and our crowd is usually a table of six and sometimes more.

Anonymous said...

Now I'm hungry.

Gonna ask hubby for dinner here for my bday.

Kingfish said...

No one paid Stiletto anything. She went there a couple of Saturdays ago and told me about it a few days later. She liked it so I asked her to write about her experience. Yes, The Auditorium pays for advertising on this site but if Stiletto goes to any other restaurant and wants to praise them or criticize them, she is more than welcome to do so in the same format. She is simply a reader and all she gets from that establishment is the privilege of paying the bill after she orders her food.

Anonymous said...

thanks for "zapping" my post KF, you prove over and over you can dish it out but can't take it.

Anonymous said...

thanks for "zapping" my post KF, you prove over and over you can dish it out but can't take it.

You are an idiot.

Anonymous said...

It's called capitalism. Oh disgruntled one: you aren't Michael Moore, are you?

Kingfish said...

Go to any website, bash the advertisers (and I don't mean legitimate and honest criticism), and see if you don't get zapped. Grow up.

QB said...

I had a great meal there after Fondren after Five. My only complaint is that the waiters need to give you time between courses. We weren't finished with our appetizers when the salads came, and then the salads were half-eaten when the entrees came.

I also went to Olga's last night and it was fantastic as always. Pirogi filet = best steak in the city.

Anonymous said...

I guess everywhere ya go there'll be a few ole soreheads trying to pith and moan about something. Keep zappin' em, King. Or maybe make a wickedly humorous 'blooper'blog one day with some of the more nutty comments. (in fact, I'd love to see!)

Anonymous said...

I will go just because they advertise with you.

No really, I went there and had dinner Friday night. Everything was perfect. I loved the band. My steak and spinach was superb. I love "Brian the Bartender." He is old school and he certainly knows what he is doing.

I can't say enough how much I enjoyed the entertainment. Her name is Angela Walls or Wells. I will definitely go back when she is there.

Anonymous said...

i've been there twice for dinner. I got the catfish dinner once and i found it to be pretty avg. I got the bbq chicken dinner the next tmie and i found it outstanding. the purple cabbage slaw made the dish. the bbq chicken itself was pretty damn good too. i've also tried one of the salads (shrimp maybe) and the shrimp and grits. i was impressed with both but, the shrimp and grits was a little too far on the richness side for me.

prices are slightly too high - but not by much - for me. you don't feel like you are in a fine dining restaurant there yet you pay $3 to $4 less for an entree than you would at Walkers. For my money, I'd pay the extra and get a fine meal at Walker's given the straight up choice. That said, you can go with the bbq chicken dinner for around $12.99 and you get the dinner salad as well. that's well worth the value.

the atmosphere is so-so. they're trying to do so many promotional things there that you're nearly guaranteed to have to pay some attention to what's happening on the stage. if that's what you are looking for then great. if you're looking for just a dinner with your wife or family though i would look elsewhere. or, of course, call or look in the JFP to see if anything is going on there that night.

finally, i have gotten both good service and pretty bad service. that bad service was in the very beginning so hopefully that's getting better.

likewise, someone in the comments mentioned that they don't give enough time between the salads and the entrees. i had that issue both times and it's a pet peeve of mine. if you're gonna bring me a salad let me finish it and not have to decide whether to eat my meal while its hot or eat my salad.

all from me.

DWF said...

Excellent review, Stiletto!

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

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Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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