Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mark at Customshop

If you're heading over to Customshop on Elizabeth, see if you can get Mark as your server. We did recently and had a blast. Mark and his wife are expecting their first baby in a few months, and he is just as happy as he can be about it while still exhibiting the appropriate amount of fear and uncertainty. Do your best to reassure him and enjoy your meal.

We certainly did ours, and ran into some friends who were return customers and raved about the place. Over on Chowhound, not so much. Here's my take on the criticism: When one of your owners writes a cookbook, the expectations are high. People want to be wowed by celebrity chefs. But I think Customshop is all about simplicity. Their site says they serve food "with the freshest quality ingredients and the simplest preparation." High expectations, celebrity chefs -- simple preparation. Uh oh. I would tend to agree that the prices lean toward the higher end -- especially the wine list -- but they're not out of line.

My wife Lolo and I both had fish. I had tuna, she had snapper. Both were simple and done to perfection. The presentation was elegant, yet -- surprise -- simple. A chocolate tort for desert was to die for. Mark's service was impeccable. Check it out for yourself and decide.


Anonymous said...

Hay thanx! :D - Someone

Anonymous said...

I'm a foodie and I BOUGHT the cookbook when I found out he's part owner (is that right?) and have been plowing through it--I loved that it had a local spin to it, so I got it. I've tried three recipes so far and they've turned out great. I love the Customshop and glad they're in the 'hood...Yup, the wine is pricey, but the pours are big, not out of line at all.

John McBride said...

Glad you're enjoying the book and the restaurant, anon. You're right about the "part owner" thing. The Observer referred to him as "consulting chef" for Customshop. I think I made a jump from one to the other that I shouldn't have made.