I ate as part of a business outing on a Wednesday evening; we dined in the "Founder's Room" and were the only patrons in the place as it is not normally open on Wednesday evening except for private parties.
It is rather odd to review a place like this where the meal is in excess of $300 per person and all aspects of the ambience and service are simply "over the top". And, really, who am I to give it anything less than 5 stars when "experts" regularly bestow it with top accolades including the AAA Five Diamond Award.
I guess I would say this: What you are really paying for is the ambience and the "experience". It's a genre of dinner theater. With apologies to the "foodies" out there, the food, while certainly unique, and served with a lot of pomp and circumstance, is just really not all that satisfying.
The theme during the week when we dined was "Land of Totems", and the idea was to mimic the food that the native people of the Pacific Northwest would have eaten prior to European settlement.
Most of the courses were unique, and consisted of items and ingredients I am unlikely to encounter again. That's not, however, to say that they were all pleasing to the palate. And some servings were laughably small, including a "salad" with 2-1/2 leaves, 3 nuts, and 1 fiddlehead.
There is a LOT of waiting around. A course is brought out, it can be consumed in a matter of 3-5 minutes even if you eat slowly and elegantly. Then you wait 20-25 minutes for the next one. After 2-1/2 hours, you're beginning to wonder "is this EVER going to end?", but the wine and the company (provided it is company you enjoy) make it tolerable. The entire experience runs about 4 hours depending on how you measure it.
And speaking of wine . . . I'm not a wine snob and am utterly incapable of going on and on about hints of this, or overtones of that, or all of the other incomprehensible pretentiousness of winespeak. Let's just say they served wine, and it tasted fine to me, but I'd be just as happy with Kirkland-branded wine from Costco. As far as I am concerned, they could substitute in the Costco wine and I'd never know the difference and I doubt most patrons would either, and they'd make a higher profit margin. Sorry if a sommelier is reading this and is gasping for air.
So, for me, I view Herbfarm as a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list activity. I can say that I have done it. The experience provides me with some fodder for cocktail party conversation. But I likely will not return. As far as I am concerned, perhaps I'd be more satisfied with a nice burger from Red Robin. It'll cost me 95% less (literally) and I'll be in and out in an hour.
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