24 Mar 2011
Average Cost ($8-$14)
Downtown Huntsville
3 out of 5

Melanie’s Take

Shane, feeling comfortable in his own masculinity, decided to go with me to Clementine’s, a place of fruited tea and chicken salad fame. I actually don’t find the food incredibly feminine, as Clementine’s offers daily plate specials that are hearty and portions that should be filling to most. Clementine’s has two locations in Huntsville: at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens and near Five Points on O’Shaughnessy. We visited the latter because of its extensive menu options compared to the other location.
Inside Clementine's
I ordered a lunch box #1, which included my choice of sandwich with chips and a cookie for $6. My sandwich choice was the fruity chicken salad on a croissant with a toffee cookie. After placing our orders at the counter, we took a number and found a seat in their cozy dining area. The tables are small and often right beside your neighbor’s, but the bistro-syle seating works with the overall feel of the room. We meandered to the back corner of the room to fill our own drinks, and I chose their botanical tea, a mix of tea, pineapple, and orange juices. This tea is delicious, but is more appropriately labeled “punch,” so I weakened the fruitiness of mine with some more tea. They also offer peach tea, and this is an excellent choice if you want a bit of fruit without the overpowering flavors of the botanical tea.
When our food arrived, it looked tasty. My chicken salad was good, but not excellent. Its large chunks of chicken were mixed with mandarin oranges, grapes, celery, and pecans and held together by mayo. I would put it up against any other chicken salad in town, but I wish its flavors were just a bit more complex. The croissant had a nice flavor, but was a bit tough for an otherwise light and buttery pastry. The standout on my plate was the toffee cookie. This homemade cookie has huge chunks of toffee, almost as if there is a solid layer inside the cookie. It is often the reason I go to Clementine’s for lunch. If you ever swing by, you have to give it a try. I plan to visit Clementine’s many more times. It has a pleasant atmosphere for lunch and its food is consistently good.

Shane’s Take

How can I talk about Clementine’s without talking about its girliness? I can’t. Clementine’s is one of those places that ladies think is great and that guys visit only when wanting to make their ladies happy. Even if it is a decent place to eat, no self-respecting man would visit Clementine’s without a girl in tow or without being towed in by a girl. So, Melanie towed me in for a quick visit. As she said, we chose the O’Shaughnessy location. The atmosphere is simple, home-cooked, and girly, but it’s a little sloppy. It’s not dilapidated by any means, but it could use some maintenance, and the decor could use some updating and rearranging. (For example, in some corners there is decor that makes me wonder, “Do they know that’s still there?”) Maintenance and clean-up concerns aside, the atmosphere is unpretentious and pleasant.
Inside Clementine's
I chose the chicken marsala with a side of broccoli casserole. The chicken tasted fine, but it sat on a bed of overcooked and unsalted rotini noodles. The mushroom gravy atop the chicken was a little watery, but it had a nice flavor that overcame the wateriness. A couple dashes of pepper made it even better. The broccoli casserole also was pretty good. Surprisingly for broccoli casserole, it had a nice flavor and wasn’t overcome with blandness. There was nothing special about it, but it had a palatable flavor and texture, which is all I ask for in a standard potluck dish. On the whole, the food was acceptable but unspectacular.
And that, for me, describes Clementine’s: unspectacular. The atmosphere has a standard girly restaurant feeling, and the food is fine but unmemorable. I’m glad to go there with Melanie on occasion, but Clementine’s is not my kind of restaurant. Closing Thoughts:
  • In previous visits, I’ve had the toffee cookies that Melanie mentioned, and I agree that it is the best Clementine’s offers.
  • To me, the quality and flavor of the food at Clementine’s resembles that at a church potluck. The exception is that most church potlucks don’t include 10 varieties of chicken salad.
  • Fellas, despite all my pooh-poohing, I do recommend you take your lady to Clementine’s. Even if she doesn’t like it, she’ll appreciate the effort.
Clementine's on Urbanspoon

One Response

  1. Alice

    Love Clementine’s artichoke chicken salad…especially on a croissant! The fresh fruit she serves with it is always good anytime of the year. Clementine’s catering with fruity chicken salad, pedestrian chicken salad and her fantastic pimento jarls berg cheese is great for men and women at any event. I have enjoyed her restaurants and catering for over 20 years. She is a great cook!

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