High end tasting menu at a 14-seat counter

If there is such a thing as a banal 2 Michelin star restaurant, Jont is definitely it.

Sure, you get the "big 5" (as a I call them - caviar, wagyu, truffle, uni, fois gras). They use imported Japanese ingredients and Japanese cooking techniques. You are at a bar watching the meal and interacting with the team. But something feels rote about this place. Color by numbers, almost. I never connected with its inspiration or reason for being. 

Which is odd, given that the chef/owner spent a good portion of the meal speaking quite loudly with the gentleman next to us about his trips to Japan and thoughts on various ingredients. It went on for 30 minutes without a break and was distracting and off-putting, screaming of the arrogance that "This is MY place" rather than "YOU are my guest". I asked what a given puree was on the plate and received a 5 minute explanation of how they grow yeast on a specific rice and transfer it to something else and then...

We get it. You're really cool.

Service suffered countless other errors that are completely unacceptable at this level (of both dining and price point). A spoon was set down by a server with their finger in the cup of the spoon. The sommelier engaged us in conversation as we started into the dish that was just served. (One of my biggest pet peeves. He made up for it with a bonus glass of white burgundy that blew the doors off.)

The worst one though? We added the wagyu to the lamb course. The server set a tray of 2 plates in front of our neighbors, thought about it, and then slid it in front of us. They began explaining the dish to us when someone nudged them to return it to our neighbors. The server stopped talking in the middle of a sentence and brought the tray back to our neighbors. (That tray did not have the wagyu, ours did.)

This mistake itself is bad enough. But without saying "I'm so sorry. Your dishes are behind me and will be delivered next..." or something to acknowledge what was going on, it came off as "I sure hope they don't notice."

Once again. Rote. Kind of soul-less.

There were a few really high notes (the rice dish and that duck jus!!!), but overall, the dishes were fine. They checked the boxes you're supposed to check. But it felt like an empty version of what CTBF delivers on fully. 

I definitely don't need to return here.

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