In past posts, I discussed a local "upscale" restaurant. It was one of the few "nice" restaurants in this town that was locally owned and not part of a chain. When they first opened, it was terrific. They had a real chef and pastry chef. The food was exciting, well made, and the chefs tried hard to be a part of the community. But, being from a large urban area, the small town south wasn't their taste and they moved away once their contracts were up.
The owner of the place was a jerk and tried to hire untrained people to run his kitchen and then he just went to prepackaged foods. If I'm paying $15 for a meal, I don't want the "rice pilaf" to be uncle ben's microwavable rice in a bag.
My last meal was horrifyingly bad. I left steaming and vowing to never return.
Last year, a local pair bought the place. Sadly, their previous experience was owning several "clubs" that have been the scenes for some rather violent outbursts. The sorts who would pay for a well prepared meal weren't the sorts to want anything to do with that scene and they didn't last long.
Very recently, a couple from VA bought the place. They seem to have committed to a menu featuring fresh foods. Saturday night, I met friends there for drinks and dinner.
I surely hope they aren't toying with my affections. I had a panzanella salad with grilled salmon on it. It was delicious. Fresh, heirloom tomatoes of several varieties . . . lovely drizzle of balsamic . . . nice counter point of several types of olives. I hope they keep this level of food. I don't know how many times I can go back to that place and be disappointed.