Superb bartending from some familiar old pros behind the bar. An awe-inspiring appetizer of oxtail with a fiercely rich, concentrated, black-peppery sauce. Magnificent brothy monkfish and littlenecks, with real but not overwhelming chile fire.
A few modest wines, all I believe under $35/bottle. Attentive service on a frantic night (not quite humming smoothly, I suspect, but the boss was everywhere, pitching in.) A nice compromise on the dingy beloved dive of the original and the too-fresh, clean, overlit second edition: dark but clean. A welcome re-invention; I can't wait to get back.
(I only just learned about the overfishing of monkfish, however. Bummer. That will have to go on my don't-order list along with sea bass.)
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