DeSha's American Tavern and Grille, located in Montgomery, Ohio, came highly recommended to us by a real live native. It's located on one of the main drags, and sits close to the road, beating other restaurants and shops to the hungy diner's eye. It's one of those restaurants that can't decide what type of restaurant it wants to be: cool, hip place for the yupsters and up and comers, quiet place for the well-to-do, intimate tavern, country inn with with exposed wood beams or sports-bar grille. Too much confusion and not enough cohesion. Consequently, the interior is a mash-up and for me, just didn't work. The interior is very large and dining sections are tiered in an attempt to create more intimate dining spaces. One wall was solid windows, and in the spring, summer and fall probably offered a lovely view of the odd little man-made lake next door (or is it a retaining pond? In the dark of night it was difficult to tell.) If nothing else, DeSha's can seat a lot of diners!
We started our meal with a Villa Mt. Eden Cabernet, from Napa Valley, CA. Priced at $32/bottle at the restaurant, please bear in mind this is typically a $12-15 bottle at your local grocery or wine merchant. It was delightfully spicy with rich hints of black plum (think almost overripe), caramel and cherry. You'll also catch a smidge of a taste of cocoa and vanilla.
I'm kind of funny, I like hot food to be served hot. On top of the lukewarm meal, the sauce was a little chilly, ok, really? It was cold. The grilled shrimp was tasty, but cool, and the mashed boursin potatoes? Sounds good, right? They were! Unfortunately they arrived late to the party, after the meal was consumed. In the background the live band played, "good-bye Ruby Tuesday". Not sure if it was prophetic or pathetic. The bright shining note of the evening meal (beside the delightfully delicious wine) was the sauteed spinach. It was served hot!
Oh dear. Our waitress sensed our dissatisfaction as she brought the mashed potatoes to the table. She was probably wondering, "how do I fix this multi-faceted dinner disaster?"
Unfortunately, the creme brulee had a mildly crispy lid, maybe it had been left in a place with too much moisture. I love a creme brulee served slightly warm in the middle , but crunchy and sweet on top. I'd give DeSha's creme brulee a B. It was cold, cold, cold, fresh from the chiller. It had probably been keeping company with the cheese/corn/mushroom sauce a mere 30 minutes earlier.
So we finished our dessert, finished our wine, left the restaurant which was suffering so much from an identity crisis and headed home. We'll probably return, only because we like to give a restaurant a second chance. But for DeSha's, that's all they'll get.
If you're ever there, let me know what you find.