I was told we should go somewhere kinda nice. We thought of a nice
place right off the bat, but it was one of those nice places that
would require a lot of buffing and changing of clothes and waiting
until they opened, which we just weren’t ready for today so we got a
suggestion to go up the road a piece to the Clearview Inn. A gander
at their website stated they pride themselves in exquisite food and
service and that we should expect fine dining in a casual
atmosphere. And we’re off. When we got there I was sort of curious
what the view might be of. It was snowy, so there might be some sort
of vista obscured by the weather, but its hard to imagine it so.
I am certain, now at least, that the name does not harken from the place itself. Clearview is the result of some cloudy thinking, regardless of the weather. When we arrived, there was a single bartender watching Steve Harvey and a solo patron tapping away on a laptop. The tender/server muted the tv and turned on the music which was a complete disaster. After playing a couple of complete songs the internet music system began playing the first 15-20 seconds of random song before switching to the first few of another in an attempt to annoy you into feeding it with your credit card. It succeeded handily as far as the annoyance was concerned.
The interior is sort of country honky-tonk meets diner with maroon
booths. The server approached us with her bottle opener protruding
from her armpit/bra. I’m sure it improves tips from liquored up
hill-jacks but it does little for the appetite wonder what’s on the
hands carrying your plates. Mmmmmmmm…Deodoranty. Maybe that’s the
best option. Adventures.
I asked if she had a soup preference and she talked up the mushroom bisque. She was right. It was really tasty. Okay. We’ve covered the positive. Oppps. The bleu cheese dressing on the salad was pretty good too. The salads themselves were of a pretty good size and they're smart enough to put the brown bits on the bottom but not smart enough to keep them off the plates. No thanks. Steph tried their ranch and white French one of which was harshly sweet and the other predominated by raw onion. Good soup. Bad salad. Hope remained, but hope is what it is, ethereal.
The lunch menu has burgers, sandwiches, salads, etc., but we were
looking for kinda nice and while I would hope that stuff is better,
our salads cast a dark pall of doubt. We ordered tuna and steak off
of the dinner menu. The steak wasn’t bad, it was functional,
completely unseasoned but cooked to order. Steph had wanted a baker
but they don’t have those til dinner. Our server gave a detailed
explanation as to why they only offer freshly baked potatoes and it
added a glimmer of aforementioned hope. Instead, she recommended the
mushroom rice…which was disgusting. Horrible flavor, consistency of
gruel, harsh edge of fried/freezer. Thanks for the five minutes of
blah, blah, blah about how you would rather go without than serve
anything but fresh food, but if your next maneuver is to scoop a
lump of this stale garbage on the plate you loose anything
The Brown Lettuce Is Under The Green Stuff
Doesn't Look Bad Or Like Fine Dining
Steak Was Unseasoned But Reasonably Cooked To Mid Rare
The tuna was also nearly functional. Sesame seeds on a barely seared surface, a cup of soy, a cup of wasabi aioli, seaweed and pickled ginger, the tuna was adorned with all of the expected additions. Half of the fish was tasty. The other half was laced with thick layers of connective tissue, enough and thick enough to make cutting it a chore and chewing it unpleasant. All of that brings me to the last problem, the price point. I’ve had steak and fish worth what they charge at the Clearview Inn, even more than they charge. Theirs ain’t. They use the term fine dining but you can get the same quality and in some cases much better quality and skill in almost any fast casual restaurant in town, for a great deal less.
Happy hour started while we were there…right about the time our
server completely forgot about us…and locals started to fill the bar
and drink. Just drink. If they eat I’m sure several cocktails will
make for a better meal. The Clearview Inn neither understands nor
has the ingredients or skill level to manage fresh dining let alone
fine. They do know how to charge for it though. They should really
get a clearer view of their capability and work within that realm,
or offer multiple and serious specials at happy hour.
Which Half Of The Tuna Do You Want?
There Is A Penalty If You Choose Unwisely