Author Topic: Inside the Cowford Chophouse  (Read 17461 times)

remc86007

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 508
Re: Inside the Cowford Chophouse
« Reply #75 on: October 29, 2017, 08:58:40 PM »
I think it needed more soft-openings.

We arrived on time for our 5PM reservation. They asked us to wait in the downstairs bar area for our table. We were seated 35 minutes later, ironically at the table that we had been standing next to for 35 minutes. The biscuits, salad and soup all arrived in a timely manner. The steaks took forever (over 40 minutes from the time of ordering). It appeared most people in the restaurant were waiting on the kitchen. Overall, everything was poorly paced and slow, as one might expect from a new restaurant. I was hopeful that the delay in seating us would lead to a smooth experience, but alas that did not occur.

The homemade biscuits were outstanding. The crab soup and caesar salad were fantastic, although the portions are for two (as indicated on the menu) which seems like an odd choice, especially for a restaurant that will serve many business people who are unlikely to want to share. The steaks themselves were fantastic (perhaps the best I've ever had), but their preparation was sub-par. The flavor was great, but every steak at our table was unevenly cooked to some extent. The people who ordered medium-well received well-done steaks and the people who ordered medium received filets that were half medium and half rare. All the steaks were served cooler than they should be. They either need to get some decent heat lamps or figure out their timing. The members of our party that ordered the Butter Brown Shortcake said that it was served cold and was not very good. My wife and I ordered the cinnamon roll brulee and it was excellent.

The service was acceptable, although they clearly aren't very polished yet.

I concur with downtown brown, the second floor is where you want to be. They really should ask which floor you wish to be on when you book a reservation. The atomosphere on the ground floor is way, way too casual for the price. (I've never paid over $150 for a meal that I ate from a table without a table cloth until tonight haha) I would go as far as to say the pricing should be different between the first and second floor. After our meal we walked up to the second floor and roof top to look around. The second floor is much, much quieter and nicer. The views from the rooftop are incredible.

I'll be back, but probably just for happy hour on the rooftop or lunch for the next few months while they get things sorted out.

Sadly, as it is today, I don't think it matches Ruth's Cris. Perhaps for the next few months they should take half the number of reservations and try to get things running smoothly before they scale up to the 100+ crowds that they clearly can't handle yet.

KenFSU

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2724
Re: Inside the Cowford Chophouse
« Reply #76 on: October 29, 2017, 09:46:38 PM »
Thanks for the tips on requesting the 2nd floor, I've got reservations for next weekend. Going to call and request it.

Lunch menu looks really good too.

I wonder if lunch prices are going to be reasonable enough to make it a popular lunch spot.
Big League City! 100 Years of Football in Jacksonville, with foreword by Shad Khan, now available!
http://www.amazon.com/Big-League-City-Football-Jacksonville/dp/0990342409/

downtownbrown

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 393
Re: Inside the Cowford Chophouse
« Reply #77 on: October 30, 2017, 01:28:04 PM »
If it's steak date night, I wouldn't go unless they confirmed 2nd floor.  If it's martini-eat-at-the-bar night, 1st floor would be fine.  3rd floor doesn't allow cigars "as of yet", but it would be an excellent place for a smoke.

And I agree that while my spinalis rib eye (the "cap" that some say is the absolute best part of the rib eye) was perfectly prepared, our friends' 12 oz filet came out rare instead of medium.  Both couples split our entrees, but our wives were given little side plates.  Next time we'll be sure to ask for big girl plates.  They have some sort of unique dry rub on their meat which is delicious.

MusicMan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1318
Re: Inside the Cowford Chophouse
« Reply #78 on: November 01, 2017, 03:50:37 PM »
"The service was acceptable, although they clearly aren't very polished yet."

How does one open the Premiere Steak House in Jacksonville with servers who "aren't very polished yet"?

Steve

  • Metro Jacksonville
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2029
Re: Inside the Cowford Chophouse
« Reply #79 on: November 03, 2017, 11:24:57 AM »
"The service was acceptable, although they clearly aren't very polished yet."

How does one open the Premiere Steak House in Jacksonville with servers who "aren't very polished yet"?

It takes time to get everyone working as a team. You can hire all excellent Front of House staff with a decade of experience each, but until they've worked together for a little bit, things are going to be bumpy.

Put it this way - when I'm taking someone to dinner and I need it to be good and well executed, I go to Orsay. Not a knock at about anyone else, but I trust them to nail the service. They own Black Sheep too, and in the first couple weeks Black Sheep was opened, there were some service issues. It's not that the folks at Black Sheep were inexperienced - far from it. It just takes time with any team.

I can guarantee you that the Jacksonville Amazon warehouses didn't hit their standard SLAs when they first opened.

sanmarcomatt

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 681
Re: Inside the Cowford Chophouse
« Reply #80 on: November 13, 2017, 09:41:01 AM »
Combined with the feedback I have heard, read here (thank you everyone), and online reviews, we are going to wait even longer  than originally planned before we go.

I am stunned at some of the experiences (seems way beyond opening hiccups considering the price point). Just don't want to take the chance of a bad night.

Probably for the best as billion calories just ate/drank in Charleston+ Thanksgiving= Need Break.

Steve

  • Metro Jacksonville
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2029
Re: Inside the Cowford Chophouse
« Reply #81 on: November 13, 2017, 10:51:39 AM »
I'll write a full review later, but went this weekend (Saturday, second floor), and the service was impeccable (on par with the best I've had in Jax, maybe slightly better), and the food was prepared perfectly.

Yes, they definitely have a high price point but I felt that the money I spent ($450 out the door, included two bottles of wine and a drink on the roof) was worth it

sanmarcomatt

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 681
Re: Inside the Cowford Chophouse
« Reply #82 on: November 13, 2017, 11:03:23 AM »
I'll write a full review later, but went this weekend (Saturday, second floor), and the service was impeccable (on par with the best I've had in Jax, maybe slightly better), and the food was prepared perfectly.

Yes, they definitely have a high price point but I felt that the money I spent ($450 out the door, included two bottles of wine and a drink on the roof) was worth it

Sounds great but  man, I think  now If I drank a bottle of wine (especially a bold Cab) by myself and had a drink I would probably be more concerned about the level of service I received at the emergency room. 

Did you happen to get confirmation on what it takes to ensure seating on the 2nd floor? I was planning on calling before we go.

downtownbrown

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 393
Re: Inside the Cowford Chophouse
« Reply #83 on: November 16, 2017, 08:24:07 PM »
to get 2nd floor guaranteed call the restaurant and avoid open table.  Not a problem.  Corkage fee was $30.  Not bad.  For me, when I have 2 bottles of wine and a drink at the bar, I usually have 3 other people with me.

Steve

  • Metro Jacksonville
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2029
Re: Inside the Cowford Chophouse
« Reply #84 on: November 17, 2017, 03:38:09 PM »
I'll write a full review later, but went this weekend (Saturday, second floor), and the service was impeccable (on par with the best I've had in Jax, maybe slightly better), and the food was prepared perfectly.

Yes, they definitely have a high price point but I felt that the money I spent ($450 out the door, included two bottles of wine and a drink on the roof) was worth it

Sounds great but  man, I think  now If I drank a bottle of wine (especially a bold Cab) by myself and had a drink I would probably be more concerned about the level of service I received at the emergency room. 

Did you happen to get confirmation on what it takes to ensure seating on the 2nd floor? I was planning on calling before we go.

Haha - we spread out the drinks. All told, we were there for a while (and had a beer at Bold City next door beforehand). As far as the second floor,  I originally made it on OpenTable, then after hearing of the nicer second floor, I called a couple days later to request the second floor. The hostess told me it wouldn't be a problem, and also noted the request when calling to confirm the reservation in the afternoon day-of.

While I'm at it, here's my take:

We arrived at the valet around 6:15 for our 6:45 Reservation. We told the valet we had dinner reservations at 6:45, but wanted to stop by Bold City first, which they were happy to oblige. It was actually my wife and I's first visit to Bold City downtown. My wife had a Killer Whale, and I had one of their special brews that they did for Cowford, which was excellent. The place was fairly busy; not every seat taken but a decent crowd. They said since construction wrapped at Cowford and it opened, Bold City has done dramatically better - not a surprise as the construction at Cowford blocked the whole corner.

We walked over to Cowford; the main entrance is on Ocean Street (and clearly marked). Once we checked it, a hostess was ready to take us to our table within 30 seconds. She offered for us to take the elevator or walk the stairs - we did the latter. Cool pics of construction of the building in the stairwell was a nice touch. We were seated at a 4 top (which was nice - I don't like the two top table; no room) adjacent to where we could look down at the first floor bar. The bar downstairs has a TV, but it definitely doesn't resemble a sports bar or anything. We also noticed a second floor bar, with no TV.

We ordered a bottle from Bordeaux (Was about $70), and a bottle of Champagne later (also about $70). Both were excellent. For an appetizer, we had the Tuna, which was awesome and had a kick to it. We split a Caesar, which was a little different than I was expecting, but a good different. My wife had the smaller Filet, and I had the Bone-In Filet. I've had a lot of excellent steak in my travels. I'm not sure if it was the best I've ever had, but it might have been. If it wasn't, it was DAMN close. A very different steak than Ruth's Chris or Morton's.

Overall, service was OUTSTANDING. Not just pretty good or good. It was probably the best service I've had in Jacksonville.

One complaint: The Dress Code. Not that they had it, that the didn't enforce it. I'd say about 50% of the folks up there followed it (Jacket and slacks for the men), about 25% didn't follow it, but looked okay, and about 25% that were disasters, including one dude that showed up like he was Mark Zuckerberg in the hoodie. That was disappointing, but my only real disappointment of the night.

They seem to be doing a good job getting people in - they turned some of the tables while were there twice.

We had a nightcap on the roof - I had a Manhattan, and my wife had another class of champagne. My Manhattan was made well. I'm not sure what Bourbon they used, but it definitely was decent. The roof was obviously more casual, which is totally cool. It was a rainy night, so some of the tables on the edge which are uncovered obviously weren't occupied. Every other seat was occupied.

Final thoughts - it is a GREAT addition to Jacksonville, both architecturally and as an addition to the dining scene.

remc86007

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 508
Re: Inside the Cowford Chophouse
« Reply #85 on: November 17, 2017, 04:13:22 PM »
Thanks for the review, I'm glad you had a good experience (I would have been drunk if I had what you had haha). I hope to make it back there soon and try the second floor out. I agree that they need to enforce the dress code (if only on the second floor).

MusicMan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1318
Re: Inside the Cowford Chophouse
« Reply #86 on: November 17, 2017, 04:28:34 PM »
Steve, next time you go for a restaurant review can I go with? I'll sit quietly, nod approvingly at everything you say, and help you with the wine and champagne. 8)

ProjectMaximus

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2842
Re: Inside the Cowford Chophouse
« Reply #87 on: November 17, 2017, 06:05:18 PM »
Love it. Love the reviews, and love that this place is finally, actually here. I think our first chance to go will be between Christmas and New Year's...hope we can find a decent night during that week or that their service is decent even when they're slammed.

blizz01

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1572
Re: Inside the Cowford Chophouse
« Reply #88 on: November 17, 2017, 06:38:50 PM »
Looking forward to it.  We have a mid-sized party going in a few weeks.  Is there anything special about the new Bold City location? 

remc86007

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 508
Re: Inside the Cowford Chophouse
« Reply #89 on: November 17, 2017, 07:15:27 PM »
It's a cool urban taproom. The beer is good. The bartenders a really nice. The beer is cheap.