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The Good, [The Bad, and The Ugly] Knight

8 December 2008 1,564 views 9 Comments

frontThe Good Knight is a bar/restaurant that opened in a nondescript building on E. 6th Street in August. I’d been hearing that the food was really good and that the place had a cool atmosphere.

The Good: Incredible menu and interesting drinks; sexy curtained booths and candlelight; feels like a speakeasy.

The Bad: Filling water glasses, providing tableware, clearing used plates, and knowledge of the menu was not high on our waiters priority list. Lighting was so dim that we couldn’t clearly see what we were eating.

The Ugly: We brought brownies with us to sample (see PuppyLove blog) and our waiter told us we couldn’t eat them there. We were literally one of four groups patronizing the place for the entire night. It was seriously empty.

hottoddyI’ll be more specific about what we liked/didn’t like about the experience:

Atmosphere: The Good Night is located on East 6th near Rio Rita. There are bars on the windows and doors. You would miss it if you weren’t looking for it and that’s part of it’s appeal.

We couldn’t even tell it was open until we walked inside and felt our way to a table. There is a bar on one side of the room, two curtained booths on the other, and tables in between. It feels like the kind of spot I’d love to go to during a ski vacation — cozy and dim.

Drinks: I was there with four girlfriends and we took full advantage of the classic cocktail menu. Our waiter, Billy, is also the bartender and manager of the restaurant and he was very helpful in walking us through the ordering process. Jessica had a sore throat and said her hot toddy with whiskey, lemon, honey, cloves and a cinnamon stick made her feel much better.

Food: Excellent menu that evokes the 1950s and the Middle Ages at the same time. I loved everything with the exception of the salad and the fried green tomatoes — they were fine but nothing I’d feel compelled to order again.

I tried the basque soup with roasted butternut squash, white beans, leeks, and sage in a vegetable broth with parsley pesto. It tasted so comforting and delicious that I’d consider it as a very passable substitute for Jewish Chicken Soup or Mexican Caldo to stop the onset of a cold.

chx pot pieWe shared the cheese plate served with honeycomb, marcona almonds and grilled country bread. The cheeses were very unique and included a Pont l’Eveque, an ancient variety first made in France during the 13th Century that is rich, soft, and creamy — like brie. The other was Bleu d’Auvergne — a strong blue cheese.

I was very happy with my order of chicken pot pie made with pecan-smoked chicken, potatoes, shitakes and carrots in puff pastry. It was served in an adorable little pot.

Christine was impressed with all the vegetarian options and she really liked the cheese and nut roast with crimini mushrooms, walnut, cashew and gruyere terrine served with smoked tomato sauce and vegetables.

Service: I’m sorry to say that the service was horrible. In doing research for this blog, I learned that it is owned by Randall and Donya Stockton and run by Randall’s brother Billy.

Billy told us that he used to run sound for live music events and I’m wondering if maybe he should go back to that line of work. He seems to have no interest in making sure that his guests have a positive dining experience.

signshadowsI’d love to go back to The Good Knight and give it another try — maybe I’ll call ahead next time to find out if Randall is working to see if that makes a difference. It’s amazing how important service is to a meal — you can have everything else be right on but if your waiter is ignoring you or doesn’t know the menu, an entire evening can be all but ruined.

We brought our brownie samples over to Flipnotics on Barton Springs and closed out the evening sipping hot chai tea and enjoying each others company and the flavor of the rich and satisfying end to the night.

The Good Knight (not Dark Knight as we all kept calling it) is open Tuesday through Sunday from 4 p.m. – 2 a.m. The kitchen serves from 5 p.m. – midnight.

I’d love to hear from anyone who had a good experience with service at The Good Knight. I know that you are out there — I read your reviews on Yelp!

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  • Anonymous

    Definitely a fair assessment of the place. The highlight was definitely the hot toddy and the company :)

  • Brandon

    I loathe places with no appreciation for customer service. If Randall does not correct this, he will be saying good night to his restaurant.

  • jeffrey

    Agree 100% with your thoughts about the effects of bad service on a meal however my experience at The Good Knight was quite the opposite. Luck of the draw I guess. BTW – next time try the Trout Pate and the Meatloaf. Both excellent choices as well. Order a Bees Knees from Billy if you’re looking for a good cold-weather drink.

  • Jodi

    Thanks for the tips, Jeffrey. I had the Bees Knees and it was delicious!

  • Brittney

    The owner/manager was your waiter and he didn’t have a knowledge of the menu and gave you poor service? That’s terrible! AND he wouldn’t let you eat your brownies? Ridiculous. That’s like them saying you can’t bring your own birthday cake in.

  • jeffrey

    Regarding the ban put on your brownie eating, most restaurants do not allow for this in the case that if something you ate made you sick or die, an insurance claim can be filed against the business owner. Stupid but that’s our insurance industry. I can’t say that that’s the specific issue for TGN however.

  • Jodi

    Thanks, Jeffrey. That actually makes sense but I wonder if that was the case here. If the waiter explained that, we would of course understand.

  • mister sandwich

    Austin restaurateurs beware: a “no outside dessert” policy is the kiss of death with the staff of Food Touring. Remember this to avoid getting your family members named and dissed on this blog!

  • Anonymous

    I second Anonymous above – great company makes any experience that much better! – Christine