Between the new ownership, recent DMN review, and the fact that I had actually never been, it was about time I paid a visit to the Grape. We made Saturday night 8:00 reservations. As reputed, the space is incredibly intimate. At 8:15, we were still lounging in the tiny bar area; without any prompting whatsoever, a hostess/manager-type came by and apologized for our wait, promised she was doing what she could to turn over our still-occupied table, and comped our drinks. Once seated, our waiter was equally accomodating, friendly, and professional. I was impressed.
The December menu is still being offered, as of last night. I started the meal with the requisite cup of mushroom soup that people have raved about for years. Not that impressive. Thick, creamy, with sizeable chunks of mushroom. But the treacherous thought that this wasn't THAT much better than Campbells in a can flitted through my mind.
For my entree, I opted for the ribeye, medium rare. The slab was the size of my head. The experience was entirely forgettable. There was nothing distinctive about the flavor profile, and it wasn't particularly tender.
My companions had essentially the same assessment of their hanger steak, monkfish, and kampachi. The servings were humongous, but the flavor was lacking.
The wine list was indeed affordable, and we were pleased, though not blown away, by our selection.
I had really wanted to love this place. The service and atmosphere were wonderful, but all in all, last night was ultimately a disappointment.