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Monday, July 18, 2011

Tru Orleans Opening

come one, come all
Tru Orleans by Philliefan99

Did anyone else make it to Tru Orleans this weekend?

34 comments:

Gonzo said...

I did, but I did not eat. The veranda is super cool (but also super hot). I had a few beers and a cocktail, all of which were great. The bartender was quite nice. I didn't eat, but saw that they are slowly adding items to their menu. I think it was rather ambitous to open with the full menu. Most of the food that I did see looked good and they were dealing with a lot of demand.

Davy Crockett's Hat said...

Does the veranda have ceiling fans?

Anonymous said...

no but I heard it - lots of drunken yahoos loudly carousing in the street until late - peeing and pot smoking in the alley - bottle of corona smashed on the sidewalk

East_H said...

I avoided it like the plague for the opening but walked past last night. It looked extremely pleasant, with the bistro tables out front and friendly conversational groups on the corner.

They really did an excellent job with the building. Like most other places on H, we will likely patronize it during the week to avoid the crowds and overwhelmed service.

Anonymous said...

The second floor does have fans, but they are not very powerful, so in the summer it could get pretty hot up there.

It was pretty packed this weekend, but hopefully it will calm down a bit, and if it does, it will be a really fun neighborhood addition.

Anonymous said...

I went for diner at 6pm last night. It took an hour to get seated (which is expected) but then it took over an hour to get food (which was not expected). I was really unimpressed with the food. I will go back but not for a few months. Half the menu is not available and the half that was supposed to be available had many items missing or modified.

Biggest complaint would be the filet. It is very small (6 oz but looked even smaller) and only comes with one side for 25 dollars. That would be okay if it was out of this world but it was not cooked well at all. Definitely a bad purchase.

I'm sure they will get it together eventually but my advice would be to give them some time before eating there unless you are very tolerant of mistakes from a restaurant in this price range.

Robin said...

I'm with anon 2:31. I was really expecting bold flavors and fantastic food and was extremely disappointed by the small portions and so-so flavor. I'm sure the place will get it together overtime, but I'm going to skip the meal for the next few months. The drinks are really great and I found the staff tons of fun.

Anonymous said...

I hope somebody told that dude in the white shirt to button up a little.

Rayful Edmond said...

The ambiance is great. I saw several of my friends and neighbors enjoying afternoon cocktails on the veranda.

The entire staff including servers, hosts, and bartenders were friendly and accommodating.

Beer selection has been thoroughly discussed, so no need to mention. The hurricane #3 was what I expected, strong.

The food was bleh. Portions were small. Flavor was lacking. Prices were high. You would think for a $20 scoop of 3-day old jambalaya you would get a side of veg or a salad..

I got a sweet gift bag filled with beads, a gift coupon, airplane liquor bottles, and a mask.

Anonymous said...

That's odd... my gift bag had a giant bag of weed and a bottle of corona.

Anonymous said...

Space looks great, a lot of thought and care went into the building. Love the upstairs and might have to ask who did the ironwork. Didn't eat but the drinks were just OK, and definitely about $2 overpriced. If they retool their menus and drinks a little and drop the prices, could be fantastic... I'm afraid it may wind up the Lauriol Plaza of the NE though, if it lasts at all. Will give it another try sometime in the future, but not holding my breath.

dt

H Street Landlord said...

I went with friends for a drink Saturday.

The space is gorgeous and the crowd seemed diverse which is good. Staff were friendly.

Yes, I paid $6 for an Abita Jacque-Imo - but EVERYWHERE I went on H Street that night I paid at least $6 for a beer. Prices seem standard.

Anonymous said...

I went this Sunday night. We waited about 25 minutes for a table on the veranda upstairs. I liked the atmosphere and it was extremely pleasant once the sun went down.

I was disappointed that half the menu wasn't available but all the standards were there. I ordered the red beans and rice with sausage. I was a little dissapointed as the beans were a little dry. The key too good beans is the gravy the beans make while cooking. Almost none was added to the rice leaving the dish a little gummy. But, they were spiced well. Both of my friends were pleased with their dishes. Despite the lack of sides with the main dish, I left full. The host, bartenders and wait staff were all great.

I'll be back when the menu settles in.

D

Vinny said...

Yelp is hating on Tru Orleans. Hopefully they can recover from a 2.5 rating. It may be hard.

I'm sure the next restaurant in that space will be much nicer. I'm hoping for some sort of tuscan thing...

Anonymous said...

I had a good time there. I agree that the food definitely needs some work. but it was a nice atmosphere, fantastic server, good drinks and overall a good time

Gonzo said...

I'm fairly convinced that new restaurants should never serve food their first week. I was impressed that Queen Vic understood this. That crappy 2.5 stars on Yelp will weigh heavier on public perception than anything. Bad planning. That said, I like the place and will go back for food in two weeks. As is mentioned, 6 bucks for a beer is standard. They just need to banish that ugly Bud Light tap from the veranda like it were the plague.

Anonymous said...

Off topic - but did anyone hear any more details on the stabbing near 7th and H street? Apparently 3 or 4 people jumped a guy walking alone late Fridaynight/early Saturday and then drove off. I heard the man was stabbed twice in the back and blood stains were still on the sidewalk. I was surprised there was no mention of it on this blog.

Anonymous said...

This could be a real deal breaker....The fans on the veranda not working properly...heat rises.I agree the food prices are high considering what the offerings are. With a little tweeking this could be a big hit.

Anonymous said...

what do you all expect??? they just f***** opened! Give these people a break... High prices??? s***,have you purchased a raw piece of filet at Whole foods? It costs you almost $20.00!!!
Welcome to H, True Orleans!

Anonymous said...

Fuck. Yelp.

Anonymous said...

Stop with the blather about prices being high. If you eat out in Washington DC, it costs atleast $20/person. If you don't like paying $20, move to Falls Church.

inked said...

5:43,
I did hear something about a pool of what looked like blood near 7th and H Street early Saturday morning. I don't know any details about how it got there (or even for sure that it was blood).

Dave B said...

Re: Stains at 7th and H.

It might have just been red drink syrup from one of the carryouts. Maybe even mumbo/mambo sauce

Anonymous said...

Well, the chef at Tru Orleans certainly got a fine welcome to the neighborhood, Yelp be damned. Some asshol straight up stole his Mercedes Thursday night at the VIP opening...really and truly a very shitty thing to happen to a working man. Walked by and saw cops everywhere, inquired and found out that the chef's car was stolen. Welcome to H St, Tru Orleans.

Anonymous said...

I was there on Friday night. I only had drinks and everything seemed fine. The only complaint: the windows that surround the stairwell leading upstairs desperately need a wash! They were filthy. I almost ran home (a couple of doors down) and grabbed some Windex and Brawny!

5th said...

We went on Sunday and had a 25 minute wait so we went upstairs and the veranda was empty. We were told there was a wait because the kitchen can't keep up, which is weird since 70% of the menu was 86'ed until the 25th. I can understand running out of food on opening weekend, but then to not be restocked by Monday seems a little strange. When we were finally seated we had to wait over 20 minutes to get acknowledged and then our server couldn't answer any questions. The food was ok, we had the grilled oysters which were just oysters with cheese, the seafood dip that I'm pretty sure was frozen reheat with cheese piled on, and the cajun wings that I had to stop eating because they were pretty dry. However we did have a great cocktail, the raspberry whiskey one.

This just shows that you should have a soft opening and learn from that or you are going to get ripped apart on Yelp and you deserve it.

Anonymous said...

"working man" should != "mercedes" :)

MJ said...

When I went by on Saturday morning there was a guy passed out on the sidewalk in front of T.O.; you can't get any more authentic New Orleans than that.

I give them a lot of leeway on shortages and not having proper food inventory on hand during opening week; it's a new restaurant on the west side of H where there's been very little traffic and it's summer in DC, I'm guessing they went "small" to start with and get an idea of the proper quantities. The prices I'm less forgiving of, but they are what they are and you're paying for the ambiance.

Anonymous said...

mj,

little foot traffic on the west side of H? I'd venture to say there are more Senate Square residents walking around than the Delta Towers elderly.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 6:50, 7:01

It's not a question of price, it's a question of value. The prices are high for what you get. You could spend the same at Atlas Room (for example), but then you get a *real* gourmet meal that's a much higher value, making the higher cost acceptable. High cost + small portions + bland food = bad value (ie, overpriced). That's all people are saying here.

Kiki said...

First, totally impressed by his build out of the space and his investment in H st.

However, I am going to have to agree with anon 3:41 (names people!). I've seen people on these posts defend TruOrleans' prices because it is "an upscale restaurant." Prices do not equal upscale. The quality of your ingredients, the expertise of your chef and the service of your waitstaff are things that lend to higher prices. Tru has a great physical space and I get the impression his cocktails are on point but what he is presenting in food does not fall into upscale. Add to that no real vegi's and a lot of ingredients that can be bought frozen and I do not see a restaurant that I want to pay those kind of prices for.

People aren't being unfair, they just want to get their money's worth. Everybody had the exact same concerns when Smith's opened. Smith's quickly shut them down by backing it all up with a great product, good service and quality ingredients.

Anonymous said...

Agree- Went for dinner after seeing mentions on PoP and Frozen tropics. My experience was, well, rather disappointing.

I had the seafood dip (bland, with cheap cheese and crouton-hard bread), Bourbon Street wings (6 of them, nearly no flavor, little meat), and red beans and rice (small portion, no seasoning, very andouille sausage/spicy hot dog way overcooked and tasting like charcoal).

I forget the price of the seafood dip, but I think the wings were $8 and the red beans & rice $22.

I don't mind paying that price point for a nice meal, but I need my money's worth. FWIW, the service was pretty good.

mobileunit said...

They need a new gumbo recipe. I ordered it Sat. night and got the chunks with none of the thick, brown broth that constitutes gumbo. My friend ordered it and got something watery and totally different.

Anonymous said...

That was some dame good weed! And I had a shitload of Carona's