Completely forgot that I had made a Maude reservation, so it came as a nice surprise to have the garlic menu last night.
What can be said about Maude that hasn't already been said by other posters? The presentation is a grand spectacle, the service is great and the food is fine-to-good-to-great, but there seems to be something stopping it from being completely satisfying meal. Perhaps it's in the concept itself. By laying out a 12 month calendar of hero ingredients and devoting an entire month's menu to dishes inspired by a single key ingredient, it sets expectations very high that you will be treated to the best that the ingredient has to offer. But in execution, it seems that the menu is more focused on being clever.
For instance, arguably the most visually interesting dish of the night was the Spring Garlic (third & fourth picture below), which also happened to be the dud of the night. It was confused. I was confused. This whole courtroom is confused!
There just seems to be something off at Maude. It's a place where the bathroom has wonderful Aesop soap/lotion and two vintage copies of Playboy and an ornately folded corsage of hand towels that wilt into a pile of rags when you attempt to pull one out to dry your hands. It's all a bit forced.
But what do I know? Not much. I mean, in fairness, I still would say that I had a good meal. They obviously know how to cook with great technique. It's just maybe not as good as I hoped a garlic menu could be. And considering the price point, it's tough to say that I'll be heading back any time soon.