Repeatable: Maybe. Visits: 2
Maybe I’m just unlucky. Because each time I’ve eaten at Tilth this year (Jan 08 and Nov 08), I wasn’t particularly impressed by the food. I love the philosophy of the place–who doesn’t want to eat local and mostly organic?
On my first visit in January, I took a large group of folks from New York City; they knew about the New York Times review and were interested in checking the place out. Well, the duck burgers were pretty good, but that was about it. Beans were undercooked, and everything was way too salty. Maybe it was an off night?
Stung by that exerience, it took several months to get me through the door again. And gosh darn it if salt didn’t factor heavily once again. This time the beans were cooked properly, but the overwhelming flavor of salt and something my friend described as “liquid smoke” made eating them quite a challenge. We ordered kale. Too salty, once again. We started eating bread just to soothe our palates. The tagliatelle in cauliflower puree was OK, but that’s only because the loud level of salt was drowned by an equally raucous level of sweetness. Maybe I should have taken a hint from the carafe of water they leave on the table: This place is for sodium addicts.
Cooking like this make me sad, because I know the ingredients are exquisite here. Salt is not the only problem. The fresh green salad was also excessively flavored–with too much vinegar. Whenever I taste food like this, I wonder if someone in the kitchen has a cold or is a smoker.
I almost didn’t mind the heavy hand that poured the bourbon into the pecan pie–at a certain point in the evening, I wanted to cut my losses and start drowing my sorrows. I would have done so if I didn’t have to drive home. And that reminds me of another problem with Tilth: The lack of parking. With that in mind, the only reason to eat there would be if you live in the neighborhood. And that’s certainly in the spirit of eating locally, isn’t it?