Despite high hopes, our dinner at Think Cafe on Western Ave. was an all-around letdown. We arrived at 7 p.m. on a Saturday, and literally the entire little space filled to capacity within 10 minutes. Many larger restaurants can handle this tough service challenge, but Think can't. The handful of waiters and bussers that they have room for literally tripped all over each other to get everyone settled, and it took a good 15 minutes before we actually heard the specials.
The food was mediocre. My husband enjoyed his seared scallop appetizer, but my Caprese didn't have much more than presentation going for it. The "organic grilled" tomatoes were bland and just slightly warmed. The mozzarella was barely flavorful and the texture was too chewy. The only highlight was the excellent balsamic vinegar. My lobster pasta special was a miss too. The lobster meat was lovely, but there wasn't much of it. The sauce was too oily, the wilted tomatoes contributed no flavor, and I'm still unsure what the buffalo mozzarella was doing showing up in this dish. Most of the flavor came from several beautiful, large grilled shrimp, but they were overdone and leathery. His venison was festooned with rich flavors of truffle oil, demi-glace, black truffles, and mashed potatoes...but it was slightly overcooked and somehow not very flavorful. Our banana caramelo dessert was fine, but Think has an issue with using awkwardly designed plates. This one showed up in a reed-thin canoe that kept capsizing as we tried to eat out of it. Next to that, I tried to drink my coffee out of a cup with a wavy handle so poorly designed, I fantasized about what it would feel like to hurl it into a fireplace and yell OPA!
Nonetheless, the place was packed and most people around us seemed oblivious to the bone-rattling noise and poor service. Maybe they were so happy with their BYO wine, they didn't care. I can't help thinking that the BYO policy is only thing keeping people so interested.