The Living Social deal had brought in quite the crowd, the restaurant was swamped with procrastinators like us and the staff was keeping up as best at they were able. (One server had stopped in on her day off, seen how busy it was, and jumped in to help.) We ended up sharing a long table with another pair of diners but other than that and a slight increase in the noise level, the rush didn’t severely impact our service or the timeliness of our meal. Hats off to Emma’s staff for gracefully handling what had to be a very stressful day.
As we settled in at our table, our server rattled off the specials for the day and that pretty much settled the issue of what to have. I opted for the panini special–roast beef and goat cheese–while the hubby selected the pot pie special. Both came with salads on the side and I was enthusiastic about my choice of vidala onion dressing. The menu also included a full (and rather intimidating) tea menu with over 65 hot teas to choose from. I kept it simple with an unsweet iced tea.
The pace was a bit leisurely, no doubt due to the huge influx of people, but our meals still came out within a reasonable window.
My panini (shown above) included warm goat cheese, tomato slices, onion, and roast beef served on a ciabatta bread. The goat cheese was creamy and delicious though it had been applied lopsidedly, so one side of the sandwich had considerably more than the other. The thick roast beef slices had a robust, meaty flavor while the generous onion slices added a strong kick. The ciabatta was crunchy on the exterior but escaped the dry and chalky fate I often fear. Overall, the sandwich was wonderfully well balanced.
The accompanying salad was delightful. Crisp, flavorful cucumbers; sweet, fresh bellpeppers, and baby carrots shared a bed of fresh mixed greens. My vidala onion dressing was sweet, with notes of mustard and a dreamy consistency that made it seem a perfect honey mustard.
The portions were a bit smaller than your standard “we need to feed you twice over” restaurant meals. Meaning, I took home a bit of my sandwich, but husband handily cleared his plate. Hearty eaters will easily have room for desert. We both enjoyed the fresh fare and it’s a place that we will happily be back to.
Total for the meal: ~$28 (Includes two specials and two drinks)
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