My husband and I decided to enjoy dinner this past Sunday evening at Studio to celebrate a late Valentine's Day. We were thoroughly impressed with both the food and service.
The hotel was quite crowded when we arrived, apparently because of the 3-day weekend. You have to walk outside to get to Studio, as it is a separate building from the hotel. It was drizzling a bit, but the hotel provides complimentary umbrellas. Nice touch. Anyway, we got there about 1/2 an hour early. Hostess took my coat to hang and then said she could seat us, or we could have a drink first. We decided to first have a drink. The restaurant itself looks like a home-very comfortable, but also upscale. The attention to detail in the place is incredible. Anyway, the bar was empty, so we had our choice of seats. I started with a glass of Bordeaux, husband with a diet coke. I noticed that the wine by the glass was a bit expensive (cheapest wine was $14 per glass), but the glass was quite large and the bartender filled it more than halfway. We enjoyed our drinks and had a nice conversation with the bartender, who recommended the tasting menu to us. Come 6:30, the time of our reservations, the hostess informed us that they were still clearing our table and could they get us anything-appetizer, more drinks, etc. Apparently they decided to give us a different table during the wait until the 6:30 reservation, and now that table wasn't leaving yet. Anyway, not a problem-we were enjoying the bar and the craftsmen-like decor. We asked for bread, as I was starving. We were pleasantly surprised to get not only bread (delicious rolls of sourdough, fococcia, and wheat w/nuts & cranberries), but they also brought us each a duck ravioli-basically an open-faced ravioli with duck, a reduction sauce, and butternut squash, about the size of a tennis ball. Absolutely delicious-the duck was extremely tender and flavorful. The bartender also refilled my huge glass of wine, and my husband got a scotch and soda. This (food and drinks) was all "comped" by the restaurant. A very nice gesture.
After we enjoyed our duck ravioli, we were promptly seated at a table for two right by the window overlooking the ocean (they also moved our drinks for us). It was dark, but you could still see the waves crashing. Very romantic. As soon as we sat, our waiter introduced himself and then presented us with small bowls each with a shrimp and almost a type of chilled asparagus soup. For the life of me I can't remember what exactly it was. It was a great little taste to start our dinner. My husband promptly decided on the winter tasting menu. I decided to just order a few things off the the menu. They also kept bringing us more bread while we perused the menu and ordered. I was partial to the focaccia (it has a wonderful rosemary and butter flavor), while my husband loved the sourdough with its large salt crystals on the bottom of the roll. Because we ordered so much, I am just going to list everything with our thoughts as we shared everything.
Husband's tasting menu:
Butter-poached nantucket bay scallops-very tender and delicious; we both thought highly of it.
Salad of seared yellowtail in a red cabbage bowl-absolutely wonderful. The seared yellowtail had a wonderful crunchy outside, yet was perfectly rare on the inside.
Foie gras w/strawberry guava jam-my husband's favorite. He said he'd never had foie gras that tasted so good. The foie gras itself was crusted in a wonderful nut coating, yet was served at a cool temperature. It sat on a soft piece of bread. Husband still cannot stop raving and dreaming about it.
Kobe rib eye-This was my favorite of my husband's courses. Served medium rare, the meat was like butter. I believe it was served with spinach, but am not positive.
Oven-baked pecorino w/pesto and sun-dried tomatoes-an interesting take on the cheese plate. Good, but probably our least favorite of his courses. Basically a melted hunk of pecorino, served w/pesto and tomatoes.
Trio of citrus curd-three little pyramids in orange, lemon/lime, and vanilla. My favorite was the orange, husband liked the lemon/lime. We both would have preferred a chocolate dessert, but at this point, we were both incredibly full and didn't feel like asking for anything more.
My dinner off of the menu-
Lobster rissotto-started with this and it was to DIE for. Huge pieces of lobster and corn in the creamy rissotto. It was actually quite large, so between the two of us, we didn't even finish it. One of my favorite dishes of the evening.
Baby spinach salad-wonderful salad, served with red pepper jam. The pieces of bacon were thick and more like ham-a spinach salad in its finest form.
Pan-seared John Dory-I decided on fish since husband got beef. It was served in a madras-curry sauce. I love curry, but this didn't have a particularly strong curry flavor. Could have been a little bit stronger, but tasty nonetheless. Was served with small round potatoes, pearl onions, and cauliflower. The pearl onions were bursting with flavor-never tasted onions so sweet.
Cheese platter w/assorted crackers and bread-in lieu of a traditional dessert I ordered the cheese platter. The server brought out 3 cheeses-a blue, a brie, and not sure what the 3rd was, but it tasted like a mix of baby swiss and romano. I know, I know, so not a good way to describe a lovely cheese, but it's the best way to describe it. The cheese platter was good, but not exactly inspiring. We prefer the cheese assortment at Pascal, but this was not bad in any way-just not really "different." We did thoroughly enjoy the bread it was served with-small baguettes, a wheat-type cracker, and a paper-thin crispy cracker w/cracked pepper and sesame seeds.
We also enjoyed french press coffee with my cheese and husband's trio of desserts.
At this point we were beyond full, but still received two lovely chocolate cookies with the bill. Total for two, including tip, was $285. This did not include any alcohol, as we paid separately for the first glass of wine, and the rest of the alcohol (the second glass, as well as the scotch) was comped.
Overall, a lovely dining experience. Formal, but not stuffy. Food was amazing, both the tasting menu and the regular menu items. Pricey, but we knew that going in, so it wasn't a shock. Service was outstanding and we were very pleased with the way our wait for the table was handled. Definitely a place we'll return to.
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