In less than a month removed from our first visit, Gerry and I were so impressed with our previous experience at this Phoenixville BYOB that we couldn’t wait to have our friend, John, discover for himself what we had raved about. So, with our wives off on a week-long jaunt to St. Maarten the three of us had a Tuesday night reservation at this Creole restaurant. On our previous visit we had Heather as our server, we were slightly disappointed upon arrival to find that Heather was no longer there, but Melanie proved to be a capable replacement. The picture I took of Melanie turned out blurry and in fairness to her I shall leave it out of the review. She did prove to be both charming and attentive and was truly concerned that the three of us enjoy our meal.
We can never know for sure that our food will be first-rate but we can usually be fairly certain that we will have, at least, three good wines to share. I usually bring a second bottle to make sure we don’t run dry and I am doing my best to have Gerry and John subscribe to that same generous way of thinking. Unfortunately, it’s a slow process and I haven’t yet won them over to the “second bottle” program. By the way, one of the great joys of having your own blog is being able to shade the truth without any dispute. Anyway, we had some nice wines with us. Left to right in the photo is my 1994 Far Niente, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon. I had traded for this with a co-worker several years ago giving him some Eagles tickets in return for this 18-year-old classic cabernet. We had some trouble opening the bottle as the cork fell apart but Chef/Owner John Mims took the bottle back to the kitchen and worked his magic and in just a short time had cleanly removed the broken cork without even noticeable pieces dropping into the wine. We let this sit in our glasses for about an hour and watched the color change to a darker red and the funk burn off to reveal some nice notes of cedar and chocolate on the nose. The tannins were virtually non-existent and the soft berry flavors were well-balanced and smooth as silk. The finish was medium but we were all glad to see that the life had stayed in this one for almost 2 decades. Gerry had the 2007, Paul Autard, Chateauneuf du Pape, Cuvee Juline. This one has many years of life remaining. Nose of cedar and oak with dark cherries then smooth on the palate, mild tannins, hints of leather and cinnamon mixed with the blackberries. A very nice wine. John had brought with him the 2005 Fattoria Galardi, Terra di Lavoro, Roccamonfino. This dark Italian beauty is produced in an area about 40 miles north of Naples using some unusual grape varietals. It’s composed of 80% Aglianico and 20% Piedirosso and shows dark red with hints of leather and tobacco mixing with the dark berry fruits. It has solid structure and the wine went well with lots of the spicy Creole dishes we had.
Gerry was determined long before we arrived that he was going to order the Lobster Tasting Special Menu that he had enjoyed immensely on a prior visit. He spent little time looking at anything else on the regular menu. John, however, is more of a meat and potatoes kind of guy and he was examining the menu until he found out that the main course on the Lobster Tasting Menu included a small filet and that was all he needed to make his decision., So both of them had made the same choice and the parade of food was on for them.
Both Gerry and John raved about their soup, the Lobster Bisque. They thought is was absolutely perfect with one of them declaring it was in the running for the best soup they had ever tasted.
The Crab, Lobster and Crawfish Cake was another hit. A nice blend of Creole flavors drew more praise from both of my dining companions. It looked like Daddy Mims was headed toward another culinary crowd pleaser.
When the main course arrived it looked initially like a home run. Unfortunately, it ended up as just a long “foul ball”. John and Gerry were very disappointed with both the lobster and the filet. The lobster was described as “nothing special” and lacking in any flavor. The steak was so poor it made the lobster seem delicious. As both of them shared a small portion of their “filet” with me, I would have to agree. This was not a good piece of meat. As I mentioned earlier, Gerry had ordered this same item on a previous visit and loved it. I guess any place can have an off night or a disappointing course. Remember, the both loved their soup and crabcake course.
I had opted for the four course, Chef’s Tasting.
My first course was the New Orleans Style Red Bean Soup with Smoked Sausage. Although the soup was good ( really like cajun spices in my soup) and the beans were plentiful, I was unable to find any semblance whatsoever of “smoked sausage”. I actually blew the photo up to 10x on my computer thinking the sausage had to be in there somewhere but not a piece was to be found. Perhaps they had simply waved the sausage over the soup. Anyway, a tad disappointing but tasty nonetheless.
My next course, the blackened Louisiana Redfish topped with lemon aioli and served over gingered string beans was excellent. The fish was perfectly cooked and the sauce blended well with the spicy string beans. I was mucho pleased with this one.
My main course, the Braised Short Ribs topped with salsa and served over a jalapeno jack cheese quesadilla was pretty good. The beef was nice and the sauce was perfect but the quesadilla added nothing and I would have preferred it resting on some nice mashed potatoes bathed in the same sauce. Overall though, I was pleased with my meal. If you had to please one guy and disappoint two, at least they chose the right one to please.
Overall, we went into Daddy Mim’s with great expectations. As I mentioned before, our visit last month had been top-notch. This one didn’t live up to our own built-up hype. Daddy Mims certainly deserves another chance based on our first visit.