Having had an excellent meal at Maestro at the Ritz about 18 months ago as part of an event organized by the Chaine des Rotisseurs, and having read others' postings here about how wonderful Maestro is, we decided to go there last weekend to celebrate our anniversary. We arrived slightly early for our 8pm reservation, but were nonetheless seated immediately at a corner table in the rear of the restaurant. The room was perhaps 60% full.
Our waiter came to the table promptly and gave us our menus. After giving us a few minutes to peruse it, and just as I was about to explain their concept to my partner (a choice of either "traditional" dishes, "evolutionary" dishes, or "creative dishes chosen by the chef), the waiter returned and offered to do the explaining himself. It was a good thing I had been there before, since his accent was completely unpenetrable (those of you who know me must realize that for me not to be able to understand someone really takes some effort on his part). Anyway, we both went for a mix of the traditional and the evolutionary, ordering in my case a dish of carpaccio wrapped around marinated tofu followed by agnolotti and then risotto-stuffed quails, and in my partner's case a dish of mozzarella followed by gnocchi and then a lamb combo.
While everything was pretty good, none of it was particularly exciting or memorable, two of the things that I think one looks for in a restaurant of this calibre, and in the end we felt like the value-quality continuum was decidedly not in our favor. The irony of this is that we went to another restaurant (in Queens, NY) the following night where we spent 1/5 what we spent here and found the meal to be far more enjoyable.
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