Linguine with Clams and Mussels in Saffron Broth -- Tree BistroTree Bistro
|Um, Do You Think You're Too Good for the Food Network? Because No One Is Too Good for the Food Network|
Clearly, times are hard at Tree nowadays, as suddenly there is a "seafood linguine" dish back on the menu, along with the demarcation that this was the dish "featured on Best Thing I Ever Ate!" It appears this ploy for publicity is too little, too late, as when we walk in for our 6:00 PM reservation on a Friday, the place is completely and totally empty.
|Do You Hear the Proverbial Crickets Chirping?|
We are seated on the all-season patio by ourselves, Ginger positioning herself directly in front of the heater, and our solo dining experience would remain this way for the entirety of our meal. It seems we're not the only ones that have grown fed up with Tree's "now you see it, now you don't" menu antics.
|'Tis the Problem with Being Wishy-Washy With Your Linguine, We Suppose|
We place our order, Vodka for the seafood linguine, and Ginger for the burger. When we're asked whether or not we'd like an appetizer, it is all we can do not to reply, "No, we already ate a cheesecake," and we instead dive into the provided bread basket, all but polishing off all six slices by the time our waitress returns with the wine.
|Yes, We'll Take Another Loaf, Thanks|
It is during this time that Ginger announces, as if she has had some huge philosophical epiphany, "I've come to realize that there are two types of people in the world: the fun people and the unfun people."
|Translation: Fun People Order a Bottle of Wine at Dinner (or Two or Three); Unfun People Don't|
While we would consider ourselves squarely in the "fun" group, we're not sure the staff of Tree feels the same, as the person refilling our water decides to ask Vodka, "How did you hear about this place?" (We assume they are trying to figure out how they got two more customers than usual on a Friday night.)
"Best Thing I Ever Ate," Vodka answers her, which is greeted with surprise, as if even the workers themselves had forgotten this place ever had their fifteen seconds of fame.
|It Seems Instead of Serving Their Famous Linguine, Tree Was Choosing to Emboss Their Wine Glasses|
Thankfully for Tree, our blog is about as popular as they are, so legions of people will not see our not-so-glowing review of their alleged Best Thing I Ever Ate linguine. We say "alleged" because we are not convinced this is actually the dish that Danny Boome tasted on the show, being that we can't discern even the slightest hint of saffron in the broth.
|Someone Please Place "Saffron" on the Back of a Milk Carton, Because It's Missing|
While the linguine noodles themselves are fairly pleasing, the accompanying mussels and clams are downright cold, and the broth itself is underwhelming at best, and overly salty at worst (even to our heavily salted palates).
|Cold as a Fish. Literally|
Ginger's burger is similarly edible, but not all that special (especially when she manages to massacre it with her fork and knife, which is what she inexplicably tends to do to all burgers. This practice causes Vodka to note, "You eat a burger in a very disturbing way.")
|How Does This Possibly Happen?!|
We want to say that this particular bowl of pasta is no better than what one could find at a local Olive Garden -- but then again, we love Olive Garden, so we don't wish to disparage them in such a way. Instead, we think this dish must be like what other people -- the people who look down on Olive Garden -- taste when they go to the holiest of Italian chain eateries.
|Related Thought: Does Olive Garden Serve French Fries? Because They Should|
Overall, we do not understand how one could ever be "obsessed" with this dish, and by the looks of the empty tables at Tree, it's becoming more obvious that no one really is. Perhaps this should teach all restaurants a valuable lesson about ever removing a Best Thing I Ever Ate-featured dish from their menu: that not only will it hurt their attendance levels, but it will also do something much, much more disturbing: make them look completely "unfun."
Tree Bistro's Linguine with Clams and Mussels in Saffron Broth: 3 stars