A few months ago, one of Devra First's Globe subs raved this place, and i got all excited. Then a CH posted a somewhat scathing review, so i sighed and never went. But Sunday we did venture it. After passing through a large sold out front patio, we entered a huge interior wood lined space (the old Vinny Testa's) that also was packed, but much to my surprise, the welcoming manager smiled and said, "Sure, I can seat you; come right in!"
That 'Yes' attitude was manifest throughout the night, as we lucked out with our waiter being Jamie, a food knowledgeable industry pro who guided us through a very enjoyable evening.
The red sangria has a lot of non-trad sweet components (rum, amaretto.... arggh) and he got the bartender to tweak it so we had a decent pitcher for the meal (but really, they DO need to talk to the Toro barpeople .)
With the tapas, we ended up with 3 winners and 2 disappointments.
* Grilled Lamb chops(2, and far from teeny)with Romesco Sauce- No one makes a Romesco as good as Jim Becker's, but this one was still very good and the chops juicy and cooked as ordered . We scoffed a second plate of this.
* Foie Gras Terrine with Sea Salt and a Sweet Crumble and Rhubarb compote. If I was talking before that first bite, i immediately went silent. (= "Don't talk to me; I'm CONcentrating here") I still can't believe it- a delicious generous portion AND a glass of Amontillado, all for $11.50 .What the hey?! Jamie, would you plse bring over three more of these? :-}
* Salad of Beets, Plum, Whipped Sheep's Cheese and Walnuts
Wouldn't order Again (Jamie was right):
--Ham and Cheese Croquettes- lacking a beautiful nutmeg tinged beschamel base, and tiny. tsk tsk.
-- Mushrooms w/ Balsamic and Herbed Goat Cheese- balsamic hadn't been reduced and just overpowered the dish which was banal anyway.
Even though this is a huge teeming LOUD space, we still felt comfortable and well cared for. The food came out very quickly and there were no awkward pauses, and servers were always in sight and helpful. The menu is large and there were alot of dishes that didn't draw us, but there were enough things that we will return for, and I'm sure there will be more.
( p.s. A surprise perc: for those of you who have a thing for denzel, there is a 6'7" server here that is a major contender.)
I hope some of you will make recs that we can use on our next visit.