my fiancÚ and i went to one of the highest rated restaurants in Cincinnati, last night. the bread, first courses, cocktails and desserts were all great, but the main courses (sea bass for me, a rack of pork for her) had been turned too absolute mush in the pursuit of "tenderness." both were proudly crowed as sous-vide dishes, of course. we didn't pay for the entrees (i hate complaining at restaurants, even when i'm very unsatisfied, but when the dishes were taken we were asked if we weren't satisfied and i told the truth), and the general manager, who is a really fun guy, turned what otherwise would have been a disappointing evening into a success (we tried an experimental dessert, and he proudly brought out one of the cook's Hattoris and talked about a trip he made with some of the kitchen staff to Korin earlier in the year, when he found out i was a knife guy, after a bit of conversation), but it still left a bad taste in my mouth (pun intended).
this isn't the first time i've had mush at an otherwise fine restaurant. now don't get me wrong, i like sous-vide; you can do neat things with it, and i've had some really tasty meals with it used (and i use it at home, though i use the old "pot of water, thermometer, bucket of ice cubes, and a lot of time on my hands" method), but i don't understand why so many restaurants have adopted the mentality of "if a few hours are great, a whole bunch of hours must be even greaterer, no matter what food it is!" it almost makes me try to avoid it all together when i go out to eat, but i'm not sure i could even go out and get a steak that feels like a steak, anymore.