dinner at fire

I don’t feel old and am not one to ever complain about my age (just a few weeks shy of 32). Ok, yes, I like to eat at 5:30 p.m. and be in bed by 9ish (it kills me that Lost is now on at 10 p.m.!). But I have always been this way. Even in high school when my mom wanted to give me a later curfew, I was like, no really – 10:30 p.m. is ok! So while I may be part senior citizen with my sleeping and eating habits, I still have never felt old and think of myself as rather young – until last night. One, I found out there are people I work with that have never seen Sixteen Candles or Breakfast Club (how is this possible?) and two, my dinner conversation started off at Fire last night when my two friends stared at me with serious looks asking who is Edith Bunker. Oy.

But I digress. Feeling temporarily old aside, I had an enjoyable dinner last night with two of my girlfriends at Fire – even though I spend the first 10 minutes floored by this realization. And I’m not that much older than those two, but apparently old enough to remember classic sitcoms and TV characters.

We decided to meet at Fire since two of us haven’t been there in ages and the third has never been. I honestly can’t remember my last trip to Fire, but am embarrassed to say it has been at least two, possibly three years.

As soon as I stepped inside, I was immediately kicking myself for waiting so long to return. The atmosphere and décor is right up my alley, with the exposed kitchen, small but sophisticated bar, wide-open dining room with great views of the Square. It’s really a great spot and I promised myself I’d be back soon to enjoy people watching on the patio.

The menu was all spring, featuring lots of peas, asparagus, ramps and everything else that’s fresh and in season. For my meal, I started with the chilled asparagus soup and went with the diver scallops with spring peas, sugar snap peas and French bean sauté with butter poached baby shrimp, cipollinis and basil emulsion for the main attraction. My friends had the tandoor roasted pork chop and orecchiette carbonara with shrimp, pancetta, shallots and fresh herbs.

I have to be honest and say that while I enjoyed my meal, it wasn’t as good as I anticipated. I was incredibly impressed by how fresh every item was, but I wasn’t blown away by the taste. The soup, for example, was a nice starter but didn’t jump with flavor. It needed a little something and I’m not exactly sure what that something was. The same for the scallops. Again, great presentation and super fresh, but didn’t wow with taste. I tried a few bites of each of my friend’s entrees, and felt the same about theirs. Everything I sampled was nice, but nothing left a lasting impression and wouldn’t be anything I would order again.

I left a little disappointed because this wasn’t what I was anticipating. I know Chef Katz is very capable of “wow” and given that, I will definitely be back to try again. In fact, I continue to hear wonderful things about his Sunday brunch and plan to see for myself in the coming weeks.


  1. Life in Recipes
    Posted May 15, 2008 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    32 is feeling old? Oye!

  2. michelle v
    Posted May 15, 2008 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Oh no, I don’t really feel old – I just meant people now knowing the beauty of 16 Candles or who Edith Bunker was made me feel old.

  3. Allison M.
    Posted May 15, 2008 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    For the record, I own 16 candles.

    Still, no clue on Edith Bunker.

  4. ikate
    Posted May 16, 2008 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I’m your age and have friends our age who have never seen Breakfast Club – how is this possible?

    Fire was the location of my first night out after moving to Cleveland back in December and I have to say I was dissapointed. I had diver scallops and they were so, so salty that my tounge felt like it was shriveling inside my mouth. And the service was terible, we waited over 10 min for our drinks. I do want to try it again this summer but I have to say on my first visit Chef Katz did not live up to his reputation.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted May 16, 2008 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    32? Honey, I’ve got 20 years on you and I’ve had to deal with people who never heard of the Beatles!!! Talk about feeling old;-)

  6. Michael
    Posted May 17, 2008 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I just want to tell how much I enjoy your blog. I am Ben’s friend from Warren, Mike. Don’t tell Ben, but I like your blog better than his.

  7. Ben
    Posted May 17, 2008 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately, our last visit to Fire was pretty much the same as yours. Nothing was bad, and a few things–e.g. the paella–were quite good. But we come to Fire expecting that “wow” factor, and it definitely wasn’t there.

  8. michelle v
    Posted May 17, 2008 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Not knowing the Beatles??? Wow. I was shopping at Nordstrom a few weeks ago and the woman in front of me was buying the new REM CD. Her teenage daughter looked at her and asked who REM as – and I thought that was bad!

  9. Anonymous
    Posted May 18, 2008 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    I had my first experience with the FIre spring menu last night, and I agree with you. The lamb was good, but not great. The only exception, in my opinon, was the parmesan artichoke tart which was fantastic.