All too often the early days of a restaurant, when just the glimmering newness of the decor and novelty of the food draw raves, tend to be its golden era. Then the tarnish sets in along with weariness of the menu and you begin to notice the expense of the evening over the charm. I happily report this is not the case, at least from my latest observations, with Opus.
With its slick off-white leather chairs and tables positioned just so to give a sense of being somewhere without being crowded in, eclectically abstract wall decor blended into an overall , spartan, neutrally toned room with a particularly stunning bar area, Opus remains a promising place for Punta Gordans to impress out-of-town visitors, business clients or just to enjoy with friends -- reminescent of a big city dining room but retaining the odd quirks of a small town eatery (like the shabby bathroom in the hallway of the Sun Loft building -- go figure).
The ardently attentive wait person who charmingly introduced the menu to us a few evenings ago was professional and friendly without being intrusive catering to the slightest detail. The same held for our server at lunch. So it was definitely a thumbs up on service on our two recent stops there.
The food remains its old confident self. It was almost a year since I had tried the Opus duck and it lived up to the vague, but seductive, memory I had retained of the dish. This time it came served over a sweet potatoe gratin and plushly blanketed in a cranberry demi glace. My dining companions were equally impressed with their bronzed scallops and petit filet mignon.
The small plates. which can serve if combined as either mini-meals in the formal dining room or at the bar or or as first courses would be a reason to return again and again... especially since I can't afford the expense of a full dining experience as frequently as I would like to be at Opus. In fact, the Opus Burger will for certain lure me back to the bar again and again... it is without doubt if not the best one of the best in town at a great value (especially at happy hour at the bar). At lunch Opus also serves the Burger on a pretzel roll which delighted my luncheon friend at a recent visit. The variety of salads also please... I tried and liked the cold shrimp in an arrangement of potatoe salad, avocado and mixed greens.
We were right Punta Gorda to be pleased when Opus moved in to town and should be glad every time it opens its doors to us.
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