We paid our second visit to this place on West Channel last night for a 6:00 dinner with the in-laws. We will not be back. This is a small Italian, beer & wine only (which we knew), no AC (pretty stuffy until after sundown) which draws a large Industry clientele. The service was well done, up to a point (see below). The good french bread was not warmed, but was served with a delicious roma tomato and basil coulis, well salted and excellent. It disappeared immediately. Only one starter, the steamed cockels and black mussels in white wine ($12). The mussels were plump and jucy, although several were served that hadn't opened. The cockels were very tasty, not overcooked at all. However the broth was so salty that I couldn't eat it at all so no dunking of bread which, to my thinking, is one of the primary reasons to order this dish.
For mains the clear winner was fettucini alfredo, not on the menu, (an incredible bargain at $10). Perfectly salted and a rich creamy textured pungent sauce. The grilled calamari on a bed of arugula ($18) was only fair, due to too, too much salt.. It had a delicious char and wasn't tough at all. WAY too much salt. The lamb chops ($29) came well done as ordered by the MIL (what can I say?) but, instead of too much salt, had no detectable seasoning at all. Bland, bland. Three 1/2 inch thick chops. They also had almost no lamb flavor, perhaps a function of the well done request of the MIL. The sides of sauteed potatoes (great crisp crust and creamy interior) and sauteed spinach (cooked to limp and no salt or other seasoning) got mixed reviews. The lobster ravioli ($18), which Zagat touts as a signature dish (don't worry, we went there because it's 3 minutes from the in-laws house, not because of Zagat) was unbelievably oversalted, and overcooked to mushiness and near obliteration. The lobster couldn't be tasted. The tomato sauce in which it was swimming was tasty, however. Tasty primarily because of the high salt content.
Ms. Swift commented to the waiter that her pasta was overcooked and he replied "I've worked here for 10 years and no one has ever complained that the pasta is overcooked." So much for attitude. The table, a 4 top, was smaller than 3 feet square - annoyingly crowded. The in-laws used to go to the late Marquis West 4 times a week, every week, and we're looking for a replacement. Pietro, the MW chef, recommended GB as he had trained Baldi years ago. When we made the reservation we told them that, and said that we were coming at 6:00 so that we could meet the chef if he had time, and that the in-laws were looking for a place near their home to go 4-5 times a week. One would think that a restaurant would be interested in such a customer and would at least acknowledge their interest in the restaurant. Nope. Ms. Swift also mentioned this to the waiter - no response. It's clear that GB has sufficient trendy patrons (the place was packed by 7:30) that two 85 year old 4-5 times a week diners don't interest them. With a $48 bottle of wine and two glasses of merlot, the total before tip was $160.21. A most unsatisfactory expeience.
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