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Sundance 608 rooftop bar/restaurant

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Sundance 608 rooftop bar/restaurant

Postby kulgar » Mon May 21, 2007 11:43 am

Spent an hour Saturday night on top of Sundance 608 checking out the space and the roof top bar/restaurant. Warning: the wait staff is in training mode and scheduling is weak. The bar maid gave us the drink menu and said "order now, I won't be back for a long time" even though there were only six customers. Then she returned in a minute and said she wasn't going downstairs and took our order.

The view is limited to fencing, rooftops and the Hoyt Park hillside which should be nice in the fall when the colors come out. There's no view of The Great Dane, Flattop and Sushi Muramoto unless you have one of the seats along the edge of the building. (They did refuse my requests for peanuts to throw at the pedestrians down below.)

A fair number of umbrellas because it's going to be hot up there in full sun. Decent bar stools with backs and the greatest rubberized floor for bouncing around on. But when we returned at 8PM from Sushi Muramoto, the place was nearly full and the wait staff had apparently abandoned ship. Customers queued up at the bar and it took 15 minutes to fill an order with two bartenders working.

It's not a destination out door seating bar/restaurant compared to the downtown Great Dane, the Edgewater, Otto's or wherever. As a plus there's no nearby traffic pushing hyrdo-carbons into the atmosphere, but then again there isn't really much atmosphere.

PS: For some mysterious reason a friend ordered a morning bun at the first floor concession stand and LaBrioche would be appalled at what had become of their famed product. It reminded me of a smashed bread combination that Jeff McKee would make to use as bait when fishing for catfish. I don't know if it was more than a day old but it was a wet soggy clump of sugared dough.
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Re: Sundance 608 rooftop bar/restaurant

Postby doddles » Mon May 21, 2007 3:38 pm

kulgar wrote:It's not a destination out door seating bar/restaurant compared to the downtown Great Dane, the Edgewater, Otto's or wherever. As a plus there's no nearby traffic pushing hyrdo-carbons into the atmosphere, but then again there isn't really much atmosphere.

I'm interested in the rooftop, since I work at the hospital and it's potentially a place to go after work for drinks. Also, the problem with the Dane is that if you're not eating, you can't sit outside. The problem with the Edgewater is that the drinks and snacks completely suck. So Sundance might be worth a go once they get their service up to speed.
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Re: Sundance 608 rooftop bar/restaurant

Postby Ducatista » Mon May 21, 2007 5:58 pm

doddles wrote:The problem with the Edgewater is that the drinks and snacks completely suck.

And it's the buggiest spot in the universe once the sun goes down. Tough to beat that sunset view, though.
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Re: Sundance 608 rooftop bar/restaurant

Postby Ducatista » Mon May 21, 2007 6:02 pm

kulgar wrote:PS: For some mysterious reason a friend ordered a morning bun at the first floor concession stand and LaBrioche would be appalled at what had become of their famed product.

La Brioche? I always thought the morning bun was an Ovens of Brittany or Bakers Rooms invention.
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Re: Sundance 608 rooftop bar/restaurant

Postby Marvell » Mon May 21, 2007 7:39 pm

Ducatista wrote:And it's the buggiest spot in the universe [...]


Funny, I thought that was in Redmond, Washington.

Hi-yo!!!
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Postby NullDevice » Tue May 22, 2007 10:33 am

I've often wondered what the appeal of rooftop restaurants was, since about 90% of the time your view is of the neighboring building's HVAC units.

That said, the place does look like it's got potential. I think it needs a little time to settle in, but the prices aren't terrible (they're not cheap, but they're no worse than a drink at Opus or Maduro). I haven't tried the food yet.
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Morning buns

Postby kulgar » Tue May 22, 2007 9:52 pm

Someone at the Ovens probably stole the original recipe for Morning Buns....

The owners of LaBrioche and Lazy Jane's both worked at the Ovens in the olden days (reportedly, only the Food Gods know who really worked there during their long and glorious run despite what 10,000 resumes say).

They both serve up that heavenly concoction of croissant dough, sugar, cinnamon and butter that forces me to run, walk or bike miles. I honestly can't say one is better than the other when bought at the bakery. Accept no substitute!

But LaBrioche has a significant wholesale business where they fire up the ovens at 7PM the NIGHT BEFORE and start baking away. Then the delivery trucks haul the stuff as far as Verona or the mile downhill to Sundance 608.

I do believe I can tell the difference that 12 hours makes in the wait time between creation and consumption because I keep wondering why I buy (and then have to burn off the calories of) the ones that have roamed the county during the wee hours. They quickly get dry or when you put them in a cooled display case like Sundance 608, they turn into a soggy mess (my guess is after 36 hours for that particular MB). Tuna with or without CO treatment lasts a long time compared to pastries, I understand why the French bake bread several times a day when chewing a 12 hours old Morning Bun.

The other LaBrioche products tend to weather the aging process better than Morning Buns but it's still better to go to Lazy Jane's or LaBrioche and get them fresh. And go whole hog and have a piece of aged cheddar with a fresh Morning Bun!
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Postby AmyW » Wed May 23, 2007 8:42 am

If you're feeling really ambitious, you can make morning buns yourself. The recipe is in Nancy Silverton's "Pastries from the La Brea Bakery".
They are time consuming to make, but I feel it's worth the time when you get to the sticky syrup at the bottom of the muffin tins.
Unfortunately, my taste for pastries is going to catch up to me rather soon, so I'll need to stop baking and eating them shortly.
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Last morning bun

Postby kulgar » Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:43 am

LaBrioche sales clerk reports that LaBrioche no longer supplies pastries to Sundance 608.

Still can't decide whether Lazy Jane's or LaBrioche (purchased at the bakery) makes the best MB so I'll continue my research.
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Postby NullDevice » Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:14 pm

I actually ate at Sundance the other day. It's close to my house so I decided to give it a shot.

Eh. Not terrible, not great, rather overpriced.

We tried the frites with aioli for an appetizer. The aioli was good - smooth, garlicky, not overpowering, and the firtes were crispy on the otuside but were uneven in terms of fluffiness on the inside. A few were actually a little soggy on the interior. Le Chardonnay's tuesday Moules Frites does them better. They'd make respectable bar food, though. A beer and a order of frites would go down nicely.

The bread basket was pretty nice too - it was a vaguely pretzel-ish bread, and I don't know where it came from, but I quite enjoyed it.

For an entree, I had sea bass with wilted greens. The bass was cooked right but was slightly fishy, the greens were okay, and the roasted tomatoes were quite nice, but overall it was just sort of boring. The cream sauce it came with was decently tangy but didn't pair well with the fish.

My friend had the pasta nicoise, which was linguini with green beans, tuna and olives. He said it was okay but didn't go into much detail. I was surpised that the tuna was in a solid block, and not distributed as part of the pasta sauce.

My girlfriend had the Balsamic chicken. It was a little dry and the balsamic glaze had scorched a bit, which leads me to beleive that they left it under the broiler for too long. It was served with a little fresh lime juice. Had it not been overcooked, it would've been quite good. The side macaroni and cheese that came with it was pretty solid - good thick creamy, cheesey sauce without being too salty.

In short, nothing incredible, but not revolting either. Perhaps once their kitchen settles down a bit it will even out. Currenlty a bit too pricy for what you get.

Their lunch specials - sandwiches and panini - looked a little more reliable than their fancy entrees. also, dessert looked decent but I was unfortunately unable to test it.

It's going to be interesting to see how that place does, with both Muramoto and the Dane within throwing distance. Dane has the lock on the munchy post-movie bar food, and Muramoto provides more reliable fancy-meal options.
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Postby dstol62 » Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:49 pm

My folks paid the restaurant a visit recently and were less than impressed. My dad first asked for a root beer and was told they were out. No attempt was made to check to see if the kiosk on the lower floor of the theater had any left (I even know of a place on State St. that will run across the street to the corner deli if they are out of a specific beverage).
He eventually asked for a panini sandwich and was told that the panini machine was broken. Overall, the consensus was that the meals were okay, but not fantastic.
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