When the Wright Brothers made the first controlled powered airplane flights from the hills near Kitty Hawk in 1903, years of planning and teamwork came together in perfect synchronicity. Coupled with a healthy dose of good fortune.
The same cannot be said of our evening at the Moorgate restaurant which shares the name of that famous North Carolina town.
At this Kitty Hawk we were beset by mishaps and little irritations from the start- sat by a busy walkway when quieter spots were available, not given any butter for our bread and told our choice of cocktail had been taken off the menu.
The young waiter serving us seemed rather inexperienced and perhaps had been thrown out of the nest a tad too early. But we were the ones suffering the consequences.
He recommended the Kitty Fruit Cup as a sweet cocktail option. But if you are going to out your name to a cocktail it better be good.
At £11 it is pricey enough to make your eyes water but not tasty enough to make your mouth do the same. It went down like medicine.
And the food did not provide a metaphorical spoonful of sugar.
Our starters, seared Brixham scallops (£11.50) with sauted pancetta, green peas, micro coriander and Brixham crab salad (£11.50) with chilli mayo, shaved pickles and micro red amaranth (they like tiny herbs) provided a pleasant, if a little too safe, start to the meal.
But a good 30 minutes after ordering them we watched our main courses cool on the side for a further 10 minutes before they landed on our table. Unsurprisingly neither my confit duck leg cassoulet (£18.50) or my date’s 10oz ribeye (£31.95) were hot.
We were offered a replacement but had lost confidence that they could bring it home so soldiered on.
The duck was nice enough lukewarm but the pancetta, smoked gammon knuckle and cannellini beans surrounding it really suffered. And the promised accompanying wedge of bread failed to materialise.
The steak, sourced from West Country business Alec Jarret, was of excellent quality and well cooked, tasty enough that it did not need the peppercorn sauce my date chose to accompany it.
We climbed to greater heights with dessert, my decadent chocolate cake (£6.50) with dark chocolate shards, honeycomb, seasonal compote and caramel sauce was delicious.
Quite why needed to know that the meringue in the The Kitty Hawk sundae (£7.50) is hand broken is beyond me. I suppose we should be grateful it wasn’t simply dropped from a great height.
The real crash of the night came at the end when there was an awkward misunderstanding over the bill and we then waited 15 minutes in a cramped corridor by the toilets as they tried to liberate our coats from the locked cloakroom.
Not a flight I fancy taking again until they have smoothed out all that turbulence.
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