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Manhattan

Ilo review (long)

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Restaurants & Bars

Ilo review (long)

LVM | Jul 11, 2003 12:28 PM

My wife and I had a very good dinner last night at Ilo. The space is comfortable, but a bit too boutique hotelish for my taste. I had called ahead to make sure that the pre-theater menu ($30 for two courses) would still be available for our 6:30 reservation, and was told that it would be. When we were seated at 6:25, we were presented only with the main menu, which consisted of a $68 three course prix fixe. When I asked for a pre-theater menu, the waiter said that the $30 prix fixe was no longer availiable because "that side of the kitchen was closed down." I explained that I had called earlier to confirm the menu's availability, and the waiter reluctantly retrieved two pre-theater menus. Literally 90 second later he returned to take our order. My wife firmly told the waiter that we needed more time to make our selections, and pointed out that the drinks we had ordered when we were seated ten minutes ago had not yet arrived.

This annoying episode aside, the service improved and the food was excellent. To start, my wife had potato leek soup and I had lobster salad. The soup was good, and the lobster salad was huge and delicious and alone was worth close to $30. Next, my wife had a tasty pasta dish with fat spaghetti-like noodles and large pieces of braised pork shoulder. I had slices of medium rare hangar steak with a few dabs or garlicky aioli on top, severd with a large mound of superior fries. Awesome. Except for the lame service at the start of our meal, my only serious critique is that 95% of the wine list consists of obscenely expensive bottles. I found it impossible to order an exciting bottle of wine for less than $80, and ultimately chose wines by the glass (also over-priced). That's not right. Anyway, Ilo's food is quite fine, and the $30 pre-theater menu (sevred from 5:30 to 6:30) is a great value.

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