Having eaten there for the first time, and having read little-to-no response to my inquiry, before, on this place, I feel compelled to provide the chow-down masses with my humble review.
This place has always been recommended to me by others as a very high-end, superior-quality restaurant, so perhaps my expectations are a bit too high. However, I must say that, overall, I was disappointed in this place.
The reservation for 8:45 was not honored, as we waited for almost 20 minutes for our table. Granted, it was a Saturday night, but at this calibre restaurant, I thought 20 minutes was a bit long of a wait. Over the phone, I was advised that a jacket was necessary, and no jeans were appropriate. That is fine. Except for the fact that the coat-check man was wearing jeans, and about 25% of the patrons that night not only were lacking a sportsjacket, but were sporting jeans, themselves. Again, I can't necesarily hold a restaurant responsnible for how their patrons dress. Still, a more general response of "upscale casual" or something like that, could be more appropriate.
The decor was above average, but not warranting of the 22 in Zagat's, in my opinion. The tables are rather cramped, and maneuvering through the main dining area to get to the rest room facilities requires complete sobriety and a maximum waist size of 34 (neither a problem for me, nor my eating partner, luckily!).
The food was adequate, however. My first pet peeve, however, was that the bread waiter came by only ONCE to offer their selection of focaccia, sweet bread, or some other bread. I find that, in that calibre restaurant, there should be regular offering of their fresh bread, which was quite tasty. I had an average appetizer of beets, granny smith apples, goat cheese, and balsamic vinegar. It was tasty, but not all that unusual. My partner, on the other hand, had a delicious warm octopus and potato salad which I would highly recommend. The entrees were above average. I had an excellent veal osso bucco with barley risotto. The meat was quite tender (falling off the shank, which is how i like it), lean, and hearty. My partner had braised veal cheeks with sweetbreads which he also liked very much. Dessert was a warm chocolate cake with white chocolate ice cream. It was delicious, but not remarkable (yeah, for dessert I am rather demanding and I freely admit it!)...
I would go there if you had to be in that neighborhood, but I wouldn't go out of my way to dine at this place. Bruno, which gets less buzz, to me, has equally good food, and is on the same block.
I'd love to hear others' reviews!
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