Aaron, Mindy, Josh, Kim, Laura, Chris and I all got together and headed out to Enjoy! in Apple Valley for dinner. Both Kim and I have eaten here before (back in 2004) but they have supposedly revamped their menus and will start to cater to those that enjoy good food as well as higher quality wines.
When we were here in 2004, we found the ambiance to be exceptional, the service to be adequate, but the food to be nothing more than mediocre.
About two months ago we had heard the Enjoy! had been planning to bring their menu more in line with the other higher end restaurants in the area and offer a better wine list and some different menu options. They said they should be completing the changes in mid-December. Kim thought we should give them some time to adjust to the new setup and that we should visit for our birthdays in late January.
With Aaron’s birthday just a few days ago and with our birthdays just days away, what better time to get together than this weekend?
To prepare, I called on Wednesday and asked about the need for reservations this weekend. I was told by the polite woman on the other end that if we called back on Saturday with a specific time frame that there wouldn’t be any problem getting a table for our group. To be fair, I didn’t tell her that I expected to arrive at 6/6:30 but I still would have thought she would think to mention their availability for the weekend.
Anyway, I called in on Saturday as instructed and was surprised to hear that the were booked until 8pm for a party of our size. Wow, not what I was expecting at all and certainly a bad start to our “enjoy!able experience”.
I decided to arrive two hours early and see if I could nab a table earlier than 8. No such luck there so I sat in the bar and waited while contacting everyone to update them to the change in plans. This gave me a great opportunity to check out the bar atmosphere and to do some pre-dinner writeup.
Josh joined me at the bar around 6:30. I had nearly finished my perfectly poured Guinness and ordered a Black and Tan. Even after the perfect Guinness, I was surprised to see an excellently separated Black and Tan placed before me.
Around 6:30 I started to get a little hungry and asked for a menu. Most of the appetizers were expensive (although rightfully so) but I chose the $6.50 spinach/artichoke dip to try and get something in my stomach to counteract the Guinness and Bass. The dip was excellent and came with huge wedges of pita to dip. The cheese and dip was so thick I had to fork it on. Nice!
Aaron and Mindy arrived around 10 after 7 and ordered some gin and tonics. Aaron said that the bartenders were quite liberal with the Beefeater. He was quite happy.
The only complaint I had about our barroom experience was the lack of communication between the bartenders that resulted in me being overcharged (4 instead of 3 gin and tonics). I was originally handed only the bill without a breakdown and had to wait nearly 10 minutes (while my party was seated) for them to print the receipt so I could argue the fact.
After finally making my way to the table we were greeted by our friendly waiter who took our drink order. After 15 minutes we were wondering if they were hand making the wine behind the bar. The drinks finally arrived with Aaron saying that the wine we had at Copper Bleu was better (and that wasn’t all that great). Aaron commented that the wine list’s description was nothing like what the wine actually tasted like — odd.
We spent the evening chatting over bread while we waited for our meals. I had originally decided on the Chicken Marsala but after asking the waiter what he thought of the Ahi and his high recommendations, I went with that instead. Kim and Chris went with the Lobster Ravioli. Laura had the Pasta Primavera and Josh went with a Filet Mignon. Aaron and Mindy planned to split a tomato and basil pizza along with their bottle of wine.
The meals finally arrived after another basket of bread and we were very pleased with the presentation. The lobster raviolis looked like zebra skins, my Ahi was perfectly seared and rare as can be. Josh’s Filet Mignon was great and Laura’s pasta was excellent. Unfortunately, Aaron and Mindy’s pizza was not even close to what they ordered: instead of basil and tomato, they received black olive, sun dried tomato, and artichokes. How they confused that order I’ll never know…
Our bill for the evening (minus drinks at the bar) was $47. Not bad although we didn’t bother with dessert as we had stuff at home.
I’d probably go back but it’s certainly not good enough for me to want to return on a regular basis. If you do go, make certain you check the bar tab and don’t just sign blindly. Also shy away from the pizza — you might not get what you ordered. If you’re going with a group, ignore the weekday hostess’ instructions to wait until the day you are planning on going to make reservations and make them then instead.