Chart House is a chain that boasts amazing seafood with a perfect view. There are 28 locations across the nation. Naturally I was a bit weary of dining at a chain restaurant but I figured I would give it a shot since the location that I went to several years ago in Redondo Beach, CA was pretty good from what I could remember.
We made a reservation for a Saturday at 6:30 and were seated right away on the beautiful outside deck that is right on the Florida Intracoastal Waterway.
The server greeted us and seemed overly energetic, verging on coked out. He quickly made some recommendations that were very obviously the most expensive items on the menu.
His obvious goal to raise our check was proved when I told him that I am allergic to Gluten and he recommended the most expensive fish item on the menu which was served with orzo, which is a kind of wheat pasta!
If a Gluten Free guest did not know that orzo is in fact made from wheat and therefore is not gluten free they would be sick due to his recommendation.
As a former Super Server myself, he should have recommend a mid priced item, and one of the more expensive, as in maybe the second highest priced item so that people feel like the recommendations are genuine instead of feeling like you are trying to push them into spending as much as possible.
When I had finally stopped being indecisive and was ready to order I asked the server to check if the Lobster Bisque was Gluten Free, it took him quite a while to get an answer which I found ammusing since we seemed to be his only table at the time.
While I awaited my answer I ordered the Pacific King Salmon with Vegetable Ribbons and Shitakki Mushrooms and I ordered the Asian Green beans as my side. Ordering the Asian Green beans was sort of a test for the server because I knew that the sauce on them contained Soy sauce which is not gluten free! More on the Green beans later.
The other people I was dining with received their soup, I still had not gotten an answer about mine. The server approached me and told me that he found out that the Lobster Bisque was not GF and didn't want me to be left with nothing so he offered me a sampler size of gazpacho that he had brought with him.
I appreciated the thoughtful gesture but asked for a menu to order a salad since I was not able to have the soup that I wanted. I ordered the Arugula Salad with goat cheese, walnuts, apples, and dried cranberries.
When my salad arrived I could tell just from a glance that it was WAY over-dressed. I took a bite and just as I suspected, way too much dressing! Thank God for the tangy goats cheese and crisp apples that slightly took away from the fact that the arugula was wilting more by the second due to over saturation.
The sweet cranberries were totally unnecessary in a salad that already had apples and very sweet candied walnuts. I did have to pick out some pieces of arugula that were not fresh, I also had to pick out some walnuts that were overly candied to the point that huge chunks of caramelized sugar were gluing together several walnuts in a huge clump.
After the very disappointing salad I refilled wine glasses for the table since the server that now only had one other table was too distracted to do it for us.
The entrees arrived but one of the guest who had asked to substitute fries for mashed potatoes received the unwanted mash and the Asian Green Beans were dragging behind the rest of the order. The server admitted that the mishap with the side dishes was his fault.
The Green Beans arrived finally and were served to me which tells me that the server not only forgot to put them in, but he forgot to tag me as having a gluten allergy. If had he tagged me in the computer system as a guest with an allergy the kitchen would not let him serve me an item that was not gluten free.
The Salmon that I ordered medium-rare was pretty rare but I ate it anyway. I do have to admit it was the first salmon dish that I have liked at a restaurant in quite a while which is due to the fish its self. King Salmon is the best kind of Salmon that you can get.
The Vegetable ribbons that it came with were slightly oily, and too salty, and I love a lot of salt so for me to say it was too salty means it was probably inedible to others.
I tasted a bite of the mashed potatoes and wished that I hadn't The were spicy for some reason and gluey from being over mixed.
I found several uncleaned green beans and a pin bone that was left in the salmon.
The server was pretty attentive once the food arrived, and seemed like he genuinely wanted us to have a good time.
While writing this review I took a look at Chart House's website and learned that they have a gluten free menu which I was never told about and should have been given the minute I said that I am allergic to gluten.
I realized while looking at the menu that the King Salmon I ordered is not on the gluten free menu at all, and of course neither are the green beans. This explains why I felt so sick after eating at chart house. Contamination at its best.
Moral of this rant: The food is subpar at best. The service is chaotic. The staff is not well informed on common food allergies, which is dangerous to customers with allergies. And the bus boys wear chef jackets which is just unacceptable, and sort of offensive to my people (Chefs).