A treat from delicious start to delicious finish!
I was very surprised to see a negative review of Sprout, but I guess there's no accounting for taste. Literally. My suggestion: Go and make up your own mind.
Yes, the chef is Top Chef runner-up Dale Levitski, and yes, he was on TV. But I think people like Dale for other reasons. Like the fact that he is genuinely nice and knows his way around a kitchen. My friend and I worked up our nerve to ask our server if we could meet Dale, and he came out and chatted with us and could not have been sweeter.
But Sprout is about the food and service, both of which I found to be exceptional. Start off with one of Sprout's original cocktails (they change all the time and all I've had have been interesting and refreshing) or a beer or wine from their very good lists. I think the fixed-price, three-course (with a couple of surprises thrown in!) meal is the way to go. Again, Dale uses seasonal foods and doesn't just keep doing the same dishes over and over, so the dishes I have enjoyed might not be on the menu when you are here. But I will say this: If the short ribs are on the menu, grab them! The pork belly appetizer is also a standout, but I've never tasted anything at Sprout that wasn't layered with amazing, unique, and totally delicious flavors.
Whenever I have been there, the service has always been warm and welcoming. Maybe the person who was so disappointed was at Sprout at the dinner rush on a weekend. Go in the middle of the week. Take friends. Relax, have a drink, and prepare to enjoy a meal of unusual subtlety and amazing flavor. If the place isn't too busy, ask Dale to come on out and say hi.
Sprout is a great restaurant, and we are lucky to have it!