Russell House Tavern is one of the restaurants on my 2011 to go list (I better get cracking, I’ve only been to 4 of the 17!). Steve and I attempted to go here two weekends ago to celebrate my bridge victory. It was crowded for a Sunday night, but the hostess told us that it would be 2 minutes – the table just needed to be cleared. 2 minutes later she told us that she was mistaken, it would be 2 hours; she didn’t know there was a waitlist. She offered to let us sit outside, but it looked like it was about to rain. We asked about the bar area and she said that we could seat ourselves. We managed to snag a table against the wall, but 5 minutes later a waiter informed us that these tables, although in the bar area, are still part of the wait list. We give up and that’s when we decided to go to West Side Lounge where we had no troubles getting a table and had a lovely meal.
Fast forward to this past weekend, Jes and I are having brunch on Sunday. The restaurant is again packed, but I knew to make a reservation this time. I had the E.B.L.T - a BLT with eggs on a croissant. People on Chow raved about this sandwich, but I was unimpressed. The sandwich had decent flavor but massive structural integrity issues - whole thing fell apart! I was really annoyed that my hash browns were not hash browns (I spotted them on the table adjacent to us). Jes and I got small diced potatoes that were dry and overcooked. Maybe they ran out of hash browns and subbed them with the roasted? Jes got the Benedict which was served with spinach and sausage, instead of ham. She said that she liked ham better and thought the eggs were much too raw.
Service was slow, and prices were high for what we were getting (her benedict was $12). I was not impressed at all. The whole meal made me really glad that Steve and I were shunned from the restaurant the previous weekend. Perhaps dinner is better, but I’ll never know - I won't be back.