Last year, we had such a painful Valentine's dinner out, that this year we decided to go a little early, and made reservations at Vert. It was a pretty quiet night there, probably having more to do with the rain than anything else. Since there were only a few full tables on the side we sat, the service was a bit "overattentive" at first, but it smoothed out. We started with cocktails, and the yummy bread assortment (a nice variety of warm slices, sticks and foccaccia) served with herbed goat cheese soaked in olive oil. Our server did ask if we would like Evian, and then muttered "Oh, tap, you mean" when I asked for just regular water. (Some one else mentioned this, too.)
As for our appetizers, after reading past reviews, and having asked our server for a recommendation, we ordered the fritto misto. I wasn't too impressed. It was a pretty bland assortment of lightly fried veggies, onion slivers, olives and calamari, but it tasted more like typical "fried stuff" than the actual individual items. The creamy garlic aioli was similarly flavorless, at least to me. I prefer a dip with a little zest, this was just kind of heavy and dull. Wouldn't order again.
The caprese salad was good -- the mozzarella was so fresh, milky and moist it had the consistency of melted cheese, but all the flavor of fresh, fresh, mozzerella. Perfect with the tomatoes and simple sun-dried tomato. If I go back, I think I'd like to check out one of the other "green" salads...they looked very tasty at the table next to ours. (I still, by the way, get kind of irritated when there are so few tables occupied, and yet they cluster us together so that we can hear every word of the other table's conversation. It seems even MORE distracting the fewer tables there are. Especially when the guy at said table has an annoyingly loud and foul mouth.)
For our main courses, my boyfriend had the Steak Frites, 11 ounces of meat done exactly like he likes it -- pink and tender, served with crisp shoestring fries. I can't attest (don't eat red meat) but he polished it off pretty quick, and had a happy face at the end.
I couldn't help myself. My boyfriend doesn't eat seafood, and I REALLY wanted the mussels. So I ordered the appetizer as a main course. I ate enormous amounts of the tasty, garlicky morsels and still only made my way through about 1/4 of the bowl- D'oh! A couple slices of toasted bread were served on top of the mussels, coated in some kind of hollandaise-consistency buttery garlic topping. I'd pluck out the mussel, swipe it over the toast, and UMmmm-ummm. So I don't much regret the decision, it's just being so wasteful that bugs me.
The sommellier helped us choose an affordable wine which I can't recall the name of, having drank it along with my Gold margarita. Nothing on the dessert menu floated our boat, so we called it a night -- total cost with wine, cocktails, above mentioned items and tip -- around $160. All said, no real complaints, but i think i'd reserve this spot for a business dinner rather than a romantic date spot. For that type of money, there are far more intimate and rewarding destinations (food and atmosphere-wise). But them mussels were tasty.
An earlier poster said a good "meal" at Vert would be wine, cocktails, and some shared appetizers. (ie, the mussels). I totally agree.
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