Saturday, April 4, 2009

Tomato Basil Seafood Chowder at Guy Harvey's

Does anyone successfully make the leap from famous [fill in the blank here] to restaurateur? In just four months' time that Vegas restaurant that Nick Lachy and Nicky Hilton opened was pronounced a dismal failure. And remember that restaurant that a bunch of models opened? No, of course you don't. Most people should just stick to their day jobs. And that includes marine wildlife artist Guy Harvey.

Last week I had dinner at The Wharf outpost of Guy Harvey's Island Grill. And I have two words for you: Skip. It.

My date and I each had a Blue Moon and a bowl of tomato basil seafood chowder. I wasn't looking for a heavy meal, but I am always looking for a good one. Before ordering, I asked the waitress to rate the soup on a scale of 1 to 10. She gave it a 5, but assured me that people raved. I know better than to listen to "people." But I got the soup anyway.

And I was disappointed. Not thick. Not rich. Not what I would call chowdery. It was a watery tomato soup with a few little shrimps and a flake or three of crab meat. I salted it. My date crushed up three packages of saltines in his.

It was edible, so the lack of flavor really wasn't the worst of it. The value, or lack thereof, was the tipping point. It's why I won't go back to Guy Harvey's. If that was a bowl of chowder, they're serving the cup-a-soup in a demitasse. Skimpy. Skimpy. Skimpy. At $6.99 I think it came out to $1 per spoonful.

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