We love Carte Blanche and thought we would give Fred Restaurant a try and see how it compares to CB. Fred's was a lot of fun as there was a great group of people who attended that night. A fun night was definitely had by us.
The food was very, very good but CB is still a cut above. For those who have never been to CB, then you would walk away absolutely loving the food. Because we have been to CB we have that as a bar but as I said the food was still REALLY good.
The restaurant is lovely and bright but (again) with the kitchen/ prep area off to the side. You don't see any of the preparation of the food. You sit in a very large U and can talk amongst yourselves the whole night. The whole dinner and wine is announced at the very beginning of the evening and so each course is just served. Again, as CB comparison, it is nice to see the food preparation and have a brief explanation as the food is placed in front of you. Same with the wine pairing, if you choose to do the pairing, you get the explanation with each course. The wine selection and knowledge is also better CB.
Fred basically stays off to the side during the whole meal and really doesn't engage with the guests. I remember this about him from our three times at 2 Fools and a Bull. At the end of the evening, he went outside to smoke and then the guests continued to gather and you can speak to Fred.
I might mention that the floor from the inside to the outside is uneven. One woman fell down and when it was suggested to Fred that some markings might be a good idea so people will notice the difference in the floor, he snapped that people should look down when they are walking not up! He did not ask if the woman was ok, either.
So for the most disgusting part of the evening which was no fault to Fred or the restaurant was one of the diners. After each course he took his two fingers and literally licked the plate with them. Absolutely disgusting!!!!!
Anyway, the experience was a positive one but if I had to pick one of these type of restaurants (and I have been to them all) Carte Blanche wins hands down in all categories.