I went to Cipriani Dolci at Grand Central recently, to sample the beef carpaccio Cipriani style ($14.95 as an a la carte app., at least sometimes included in certain prix fixe pre/post-theater menus). While I acknowledge that this signature dish should be sampled at Cipriani in Venice, which I have never visited (or at least Cipriani NY), I'd have to say I was very disappointed.
The serving was on the small size, with beef carpaccio lining a small plate (a plate only slightly larger than a typical bread plate). The meat was not flavorful, and a dining room team member could not advise me of what type of beef had been used (or its sourcing). I disliked the mayonnaise-texture white cream-based sauce that was generously (in a negative sense) on top of the beef carpaccio. The white sauce was squeezed onto the carpaccio in thin lines that formed repeated criss-cross patterns. Too much saucing, and not attractive saucing. The saucing included cream, Worchestshire sauce (presumably white??), and salt/pepper. Worse still, the balsamic that was brought to the table in a bottle for dispensing by each diner was not of high quality. Although from Modena, it lacked depth and did not help the cause of the dish. It was a brand called La Maiolita, I believe (?).
Since I was dining solo, I ordered a glass of Zonin Merlot from Italy (one of two reds available by the glass, although others are available as a carafe). Not appealing, although it was inexpensive ($7).
The bread brought to the table was severely burnt in the toasting. Worse, my Lasagnette a la Bolognese (around $17) had also a burnt aspect and was horrible for that and other reasons.
I didn't expect that much from this Cipriani affiliate, but the establishment disappointed nonetheless. :)
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