In early Feb. of this year I was granted a reservation at Il Mulino. So this Saturday the reservation finally came around and we was off to dinner. Almost four months of waiting had built up some serious expectations. When we arrived and fought our way through a throng of waiters too busy to be bothered with customers and announced our arrival to the Maitre'D. About an hour after our reservation time we were finally seated in a corner so tight I was afraid I would not be able to get out after the soon to follow engorgement.
The food was passable for upscale Italian with a few technical flaws. The apps and antipasti were copious in quantity and the ingredients were fresh. When we sat down there was a dish of chili oil soaked fried zucchini, which were quickly followed by sopprasata, Parmesan (cut off the wheel at the table, nice touch) a mussel bruschetta and various bread. All top quality ingredients, very simple preparations. The app that we split was a plate of tomatoes, roasted peppers and buffalo mozz. Again simple, fresh good.
The pasta course involved porcini ravioli in a truffle sauce and parappadelle with tomatoes and basil. The texture was correct, and the food well prepared except that there was so much salt that it was practically inedible. It was enough to make my mouth pucker.
For entrees we had a whole bronzino in a salt crust and a rack of lamb with mustard. The lamb was fine, however the fish was overcooked and dry. For dessert we picked feebly at a coconut sorbet in the shell.
The service was technically correct, but seemed aloof to the point of not really caring if we were enjoying our meal.
All in all the meal was enjoyable, until I received the bill. I have no problem paying for a good meal, as long as it delivers value. However, for this particular meal the food alone was over $225. I understand that their food costs are high, and that they have a large staff and a limit number of tables, but for the quality of the food and the experience, they not only do not offer value, they were insulting. So, unless you are "somebody special" or have unlimited disposable income and don't even bother looking at prices, be wery.
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