Close Restaurant review: Clooney, Freemans Bay

A funny thing happened on the way to Clooney. When I booked, they asked me for my credit card number. This got a bit tricky when I realised they would want to know the name on the card, since I had booked under an assumed name, but I toughed it out.

I knew why they were asking for the card details: the place charges $170 a head without drinks and if you don’t turn up, you’ll get pinged. It’s a common practice in upscale places in the Northern Hemisphere, but I’ve never encountered it here, and it feels a bit off.

Anyway, nowhere in my emailed booking confirmation or in the reconfirming phone call the day before we were to dine, was any mention made of this. I told the woman on the desk as we left that I had studied law only by watching legal dramas on television, but I was pretty sure no contract had been entered into and they’d be on shaky ground charging the card. She didn’t seem interested.

For eight years or so, Clooney has been the domain of Des Harris, a Logan Brown alumnus who has turned out some of the best fine-dining food in town (and an unforgettable carrot; see for details).

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