It was a double date night with dinner and a movie. We were debating between couple restaurants (new and old) in Mason before an 8pm show. As I was waiting for the husband to come home from work, I discovered G. Bailey’s opened in Encore’s old location and serves brick oven pizza. I’d been to Encore once for dinner long time ago and remembered leaving happy and buzzed; the chocolate martini was delightful. I also learned G Baileys is owned by the owners of the Golden Lamb and we’ve dined there for Valentine’s Day and loved it.
Every so often, I get a craving for pizza and this was the night. After arriving at 6:30, our party of four was seated 15 minutes later- not bad for a Friday night. (They only take reservations for party of 8 or more). There are plenty of booths and tables for seating. They have a large wine cooler housed close to the kitchen (the friend said this is from the Encore days). Overall the appearance is pleasant, with a dash of suburban restaurant attempting to be upscale.
For first course, I ordered “their version” of the chicken noodle soup and someone else got an insalata capresse. The soup was very salty. The server offered another bowl and informed me the second bowl would be from the same pot; I kindly refused. The insalata capresse, on the other hand, was magnificent; perfectly dressed and seasoned.
(my sad attempt at taking a picture of the pizza, discreetly, with an iPhone)
For dinner three of us ordered pizzas and one ordered halibut with vegetables. The pizzas arrived soon after the first course plates were cleared. The pizzas are small with 6- 8 slices. My grilled chicken pizza tasted all right, nothing extraordinary. The crust was thin (my preferred style) but it tasted doughy and lacked a bold oven grilled flavor. The toppings were bland, lacked salt and garlic, and unfortunately with a bad crust made for an okay pizza. I was disappointed in their attempt at brick oven style pizza. Maybe because growing up, we regularly ate at a local joint that cranked out more pizzas from their brick oven than you can shake a stick at. So even if I had higher expectations others in the party agreed the pizza lacked substance. The halibut, a main course, is served with a three tier salad and potatoes. The tiered serving style was fun and unique; it came with herbed cottage cheese, onions and a variety of peppers and the basics of a mixed green salad. The cottage cheese with fresh herbs was a hit; a simple and brilliant idea that I’ll use at home. The halibut guy didn’t complain or rave about the fish or the potatoes so I assume they were good but not memorable.
They have other dishes on the menu like roasted chicken, pork tenderloin, pasta and sandwiches that may be worth trying. This place is still new to the restaurant scene in Mason so hopefully they’ll fix the glitches soon.
The movie? Doubt. It’s definitely worthy of the award nominations. We saw the play at Cincinnati Playhouse and preferred that over the big screen. To no one’s surprise…