It was Zach’s turn to choose a restaurant for date night and he picked Chez Gaudy—a place near his apartment that we had both seen and were curious about. It’s so dimly lit that from the outside it looks like a closed antique store. We found out it was owned by the same people who run Bleu Bistro, which is a cave-like bar / restaurant on Broadway that has odd and secluded eating cubbies. We heard that Chez Gaudy was similar in style and filled with stuff you’d find in a junk store, and all of it is for sale (we’re not sure if that last bit is true, but that’s what we heard).

The restaurant was very dark and romantic, with lots of cute eating nooks, but the tables were so close together that it was hard to navigate through the restaurant. We started with some fantastic cocktails; I had a lemon drop with tequila and Zach had a Negroni. The 30+ page menu was overwhelming and confusing, so I was frustrated after about page 5. I was also astounded that only 4 pages out of 30 were dedicated to food (this is the place to go for a drink). The clincher was that there were only 3 entrees that weren’t vegetarian. I was sad because I was craving steak in a bad way.

The waitress brought us a complimentary appetizer plate that came with crackers (I was strangely excited and at the same time disappointed that they were Ritz), an olive tapenade, juicy and nicely spiced marinated peppers, a handful of spinach with a miso and wasabi dressing, deli-style sliced gouda cheese, and a great marinated portobello. It was surprisingly good and I noticed that the other tables were forgoing dinner and ordering large snack platters that looked similar to our appetizer plate. I was starting to think that maybe we should have followed suit.

For dinner, I had the Verona, which was a very rich and cheesy chicken pasta dish. It was the kind of meal that gets boring after the third bite, and was so thick with cream that I was dying for a glass of water. Zach had a faux sausage pasta dish, which he enjoyed, but I didn’t care for because it was loaded with cumin. When cumin is cooked and blended with other ingredients, I love it, but when it’s sprinkled on raw, I have a strong aversion to it.

Dinner came to $70 with tip, and we both decided that it wasn’t worth the money at all. We will however be back for some drinks and maybe a plate of nibbles.

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