I liked this place.  I really did.  I was actually excited to be treated to a birthday dinner here.  Waited all day to eat.  I’m serious when I say that too.  What did I like?  The updated, modern, Southern ambience.  You’re walking up to the door and there are a couple of things that you notice.  There’s a huge trailer on the patio.  Fits right on in.  Anyone can wine and dine inside, kind of intimate, but still fun at the same time.  The food and cocktail menus have that vintage, tea party, grandmother’s living room wallpaper look to them.  The décor.  There’s stuff everywhere.  Almost like a thrift shop, with a rustic touch.  I mean, for instance, we sat on a big, blue, leather couch at the bar.  I mean it was the best!

One of the star attractions here, besides the food, the bartenders.  They’re artists.  You can’t help but stare when they’re creating a masterpiece that is your drink.  Our bartender, Brandon, was very pleasant.  Like I always say, when you have a great bartender or waiter, your experience is just that much better.  He really took care of us.  They make their own bitter, in-house gin and their garnishes are so fun.  I had my taste of candied ginger and a piece of dried peach atop my Peachy Keane.  It was perfect.

The food.  Let’s just get right to it.  First, the Crawfish Corn Fritters.  They came with this amazing smoked mustard.    I could have eaten that stuff all by itself.  I was cute at first, placing it ever so gently on the fritter with a spoon, but by my second fritter, I was dunking them one by one.  I couldn’t help myself.  The menu itself, it’s not overwhelming at all.  It’s just that, being that it was my first time, you want to try everything at once.  A lady at the bar, really kind and generous, she let me try a piece of Wagyu Sirloin Steak.  I was sold.  It was so good, seasoned and cooked perfectly.  I meant to order it medium, but I accidentally said medium rare, that’s a first, but it was still delicious.  It didn’t come out as hot as I wanted it to, a little on the lukewarm side, but it tasted so good, I didn’t even want to be Petty Betty and have it sent back.  I would’ve preferred it have come with a heartier side, like their Parmesan Grits or their Brussels Sprouts, but instead it came with a cold okra, mushroom and shallot salad.  The steak was definitely the highlight.  My friend, she ordered the Tea Braised Pork Shank, which came out piping hot, falling off the bone, but it wasn’t seasoned.  At all.  A huge disappointment.

All in all, I’m really glad they added a place like Ida Claire to Addison.  A different vibe than everyone is used to.  Something different, something that stands out, what you wouldn’t expect.  Ida Claire, I do declare, that I will be back for more.

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