I’ve been talking to my friend Kari about trying Josephine House and lo and behold the day we decided to go it was touted as one of the best restaurants in America along with its big sister restaurant Jeffrey’s in Bon Appetit magazine. “Great,” I thought in my head, “now it’s going to be swimming with people.”
But alas, when we got there for happy hour it was filled with a few ladies, but wasn’t too bad. Close your eyes however and think for a moment about “ladies who lunch” and that’s exactly type of clientele that was there. If you know me at all, I’m really not that type, so I felt a little bit out of place from the get go. We quickly scurried to a spot outside by the fireplace (that’s got to be THE spot during the fall let me tell you) and asked about the Happy Hour specials. So, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t expecting huge discounts but still, it was $2 off drinks and 25% off food. I remember giving Kari this look when our very nice waiter mentioned the specials and thinking, “so your $15 glass of overpriced wine is now $12? What a deal!” Trying to not get too snarky, we glanced over the menu and ordered a spinach salad with peaches, these awesome deep fried rice cakes called calas, the Nicoise Salad and Ratatouille Empanadas.
Let me be clear here that I owned a food company so I know it’s painful when someone reviews your food in a negative light, but I’m most certainly not trying to be negative because I did think the food was good, not knock your socks off great, but good. I think the other issue was that I was walking in with high expectations with “the best restaurant in the U.S.” blitz, and the prices for the size of plates you are getting felt, well, a little like a very ritzy, overpriced place in Dallas. Two bright stars were the calas and empanadas. Whoever did that dough for the emapadas needs a medal or award or something as I thought it was perfect.
The other great thing about Josephine House is that place is downright impeccable. Every detail is pitch perfect and no stone is left unturned. From the thick, expensive feeling, personally imprinted napkins in the bathroom, perfectly chilled white wine, awesome and perfectly balanced Paloma, to the unfussy and effortless service – everything about the look and feel was phenomenal. Like I said, the food was good, but I think it just wasn’t up to par with the impeccable surroundings, service and drinks. We will definitely go back in the fall, sit by the amazing fire place and give her another try!