With our groupon in hand Steph and I set out for the Bay Leaf last weekend. We had glanced at their menu and website before hand, so we thought we had an idea as to what we were getting ourselves into. The Bay Leaf is tucked in back of Clifton Square on east Douglas. Steph and I were thinking that this would be a nice, cozy place that one could enjoy a good meal at on a Friday night. When I saw that the special on Friday was $1.50 PBRs I started to wonder what was up. Upon entering the restaurant we were met with a strange layout. There was a small bar and counter in the front with the dining room (which was empty) located in the back. The dining room was small with only 6 or 7 tables set up, the large PA system and laptop made it seem even more cozy. The decor throughout the restaurant had a trendy classic feel to it. I don’t really know what that means, but I’m not an interior decorator so I have no idea how to describe what I saw. Anyway the decor contrasted sharply with the T-95(hard rock station) that was playing in the background, the daily special stapled on a pillar, and our waitress’ exposed navel area.
Steph tried to order the Papa Giorgio’s Pasta but the waitress informed us that they aren’t making it anymore because they are in the process of changing their menu. We were a bit annoyed by this. Either the waitress should have informed us that dish was unavailable before we ordered or they shouldn’t have it on the menu. Since the waitress seemed more concerned about her friends up front, this should not be shocking. So Steph ended up getting the chicken salad sandwich. It came out with a large scoop of chicken salad in the middle with slices of tomatoes and four slices of French bread. The chicken salad looked as though it had been put through a food processor which made the various parts difficult to taste. We weren’t too impressed with it.
The appetizer that we ordered was the best part of the meal. We tried the bierock bites, which as the name implies were nice little balls of bierock. You could tell they were freshly made and seasoned just right. I chose the Philly cheese steak with fries for my entree. My sandwich had a good combination of melted cheese and tender, lean beef. The peppers and onions were cooked just right and it was all served on a tasty hoagie bun. The waffle fries were nothing too exciting, but after looking at Steph’s side salad I was happy with my side choice.
I know this may sound like our worst review ever, but overall our experience was not awful. There were just several small things that snowballed. I hope that once the Bay Leaf completes their menu renovation things will get better. I just hope they don’t remove the bierock bites. Unfortunately, or fortunately we finished our dinner before the two piece band started their set. From what I witnessed while they were setting up I wonder if anyone who witnessed the performance has regained their hearing. Between the bass amp that was wheeled in, the large PA system, and the fact they were going to play in room the size of my basement I can only wonder what in the world it sounded like.