This week, I got an email from a friend about an upcoming event in Washington, DC at a supper club called Posh. The place promised an upscale "Caribbean Night" called Infusion. Infusion promised to be "A Caribbean Affair" – spirited cooking by Paul Yellin. It was sponsored by Mount Gay Rum and Featuring Special Dinner Menu Created by Paul Yellin, a chef "raised and educated in Barbados". It also promised "Special Cocktail Rum Recipes Created by Mount Gay Distilleries Local Brand Specialist Chesterfield Browne", and a Steel Band.
Now, I'm thinking...."this should be a good night out". So I go with a couple of my girls to sample what promises to be yummy, spicy caribbean fare, and listen to some good music. As a Bajan - I'm psyched up that the fellow is a countryman and thinking that he should have some very interesting items on the menu. What a freaking disappointment!
The menu was price fixe. We began with a watermelon gazpacho shot - that pretended to be an amuse bouche. You know, that small wonder of a one bite that sets the tone for the evening...well, it was strange. Not bad, but not great either. One thing was right tho - it was the tone for the entire meal. The appetizer hurricane rolls of shrimp wrapped in a red snapper filet the covered with phyllo dough and fried with a side of scotch bonnet sauce was a poor beginning. The shrimp overcooked, the snapper fish, the phyllo dough soggy - with a sauce that MUST have come straight from a bottle purchased at local west indian market had me in the land of second thoughts before the main dish arrived. My companions fared no better with the pumpkin and lobster bisque. WHERE WAS THE LOBSTER?!?!?! I never saw one single piece. It appeared as if someone made a pumpkin soup and decided that seafood seasoning, would be enough. Even to call this thing a bisque was an insult to the word.
By now, I'm internally nervous about what is coming next from my Bajan brother - and surely, the dinner continued to plow down the same, bland badly cooked road on which it had begun. Hanger steak - completely unseasoned and tasteless. Rice with Mahi Mahi that had to be returned to the kitchen because it was so badly undercooked. Mashed sweet potato with no flavor whatsover. All this for $45 A PLATE?!?!?!? I felt taken advantage of and confused. This from a Bajan chef who has written a recipie book and traveled around the world cooking for dignitaries etc?
For me, there was no saving grace at that table in terms of food. However, I can say that my service was impeccable and that the restaurant itself appealed to the eye. I'd really recommend that the menus that they gave us (which could double as weapons, they are so heavy) be revamped, and that the management at Posh seriously consider their own reputations before hyping up such a non event from a non chef like Paul Yellin. Obviously, this fellow has lost touch with reality and his roots - in forgetting that the food of that region has FLAVOR that is not to be forgotten. If my own Mother does better caribbean food every day than Mr Yellins fine dining experience.....where's Gordon Ramsey when you really need him?
I think I'll avoid all things "Posh" for the forseeable future. I'm willing to give this place one more try for their regular menu. However, I can promise that it won't be on my own dime. As this night added up it was neither "posh" nor "infused" with anything it promised.