Thursday, 28 February 2013

Restaurant Review - Annexe Resto

New: Restaurant Review - Annexe Resto
What's up: Double Chocolate Chip Muffins, Lemon bars, Fluffy Pancakes

In terms of Groupon dining, I’ve always been relatively fortunate. I find if you do your research and read the fine print, you can’t go too wrong with a half off meal. My very first “fine” dining experience in St. John’s was at Annexe Resto on George Street using a Groupon for $40 worth of food for $20. Annexe Resto is a cross between a somewhat nicer restaurant and a bar/lounge. It serves what I’d consider “West Coast” food with a small selection of pastas, steaks, and salads. It also has a special bar menu with things like poutine, nachos, and onion rings.

The interior of the restaurant was nice, quaint, dark. As we went on the weekend after February 14th, it was still set up for Valentine’s Day with what appeared to be Christmas trimming and shiny red hearts hanging around. My favourite part of the decor was probably the tables. We sat at the front and they had these charming, rustic, round stone tables. 

Annexe Resto on George Street

At 6PM on a Saturday night, we were literally the only customers there for about 15-20 minutes and throughout the entire night, only about four tables were filled, so we enjoyed a very quiet night.

For dinner, we ordered the carrot ginger soup ($8.95), the special, which was a phyllo-wrapped salmon fillet (~$26.95) with a side of vegetables, and seafood linguine ($26.95). 

The carrot ginger soup had a nice, thick, creamy texture, light on the ginger taste, with dollops of some type of cream inside. A good, solid carrot soup, nothing too fancy, but satisfying, definitely would have liked a larger serving of soup! It was served with a side of garlic bread. 

Creamy carrot ginger soup at Annexe Resto
I found the seafood linguine to be quite ordinary. The seafood in the dish included scallop, shrimp, cod, and salmon. The linguine was cooked well, not overdone, and the rose sauce was a nice touch as this dish is typically made with a white cream sauce. The portioning was more than adequate, although it was expensive for a pasta. 

Seafood Linguine at Annex Resto

One of the specials of the night was a phyllo-wrapped salmon with goat’s cheese inside. The pastry was thoroughly baked, ensuring a nice crispy, puffed and flakey texture all around. The salmon was alright, a tad bit dry, and it could have used some seasoning, but the creamy goat’s cheese (my favourite part) helped to boost the flavour of the entire dish. Overall it was a tasty dish but a bit on the pricey side at almost $27. The salmon was served with a side of asparagus, carrots, and potatoes which were all well cooked and tender. 

Phyllo-wrapped salmon with goat's cheese at Annexe Resto

As I mentioned before there were a total of about four tables the entire night and one server so the service good, our water glasses were adequately refilled and the server was free to come check on us occasionally. The wait for the food was about average so no complaints there.

Seeing as this is my first Newfoundland restaurant, I definitely have a lot more to try before I can gauge how good this restaurant is in context. Overall this was a solid restaurant. I enjoyed the food, the atmosphere and the service was good although this night may have been an exception as UrbanSpoon has quite a few poor service reviews for the Annexe Resto.

On that note, I do have one complaint. When we first tried to go to the restaurant a few weeks before, at about 8pm on a Saturday, we were quite rudely turned away. The lady who greeted us immediately told us they were booked up despite many empty tables around, and did not offer to put us on a waitlist or suggest a better time to come back. Her entire demeanour and tone of voice was off putting which made me hesitant about returning even with the Groupon we’d already purchased. Luckily, she didn’t seem to be working that night.

Will I be going back? Yes. There are quite a few other places I’d like to check out before returning, but my first experience at the Annexe Resto will definitely not be my last.

Prices: $8.95 - $13 for appetizers, $23.95 - $37.95 for mains
Location: 32 George St. St. John's Newfoundland (near Jungle Jim's)
Rating: 4/5. Good for my first dining experience in St. John's. Nothing too fancy, but Annexe serves some good, solid West Coast food. Service was pleasant, food came at a reasonable time, and it is located in an accessible location. Prices are a bit high, but we'll see how it is after I've visited a few more places in St. John's. 

Annexe Resto on Urbanspoon

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