Good news: a couple of very fine dishes. An anchovy-less Caeser salad with a perfectly soft-boiled egg, and a tagliolini with asparagus and a pesto-like sauce, very fresh tasting (though the tagliorini did not have the ribbon-like flatness I expect in this pasta: it was more like spaghetti, round in cross-section).
Bad news: another disastrously conceived wine list. A couple of junk wines under $30, and everything else around $65 and up. Also, a not very attractive dining room for the price level. The bar area is noisy and cramped; the rear dining room is quieter, a little prettier. But the furnishings look and feel kind of cheap. I could only think of how much more upscale the atmosphere at Via Matta seems, with an infinitely better wine list, for about the same money.
I quite like Rene Michelina's cooking: when he's on, he's one of the most creative chefs in town. But his restaurants always seem to have at least one fatal flaw. Two examples: La Bettola (wonderful food, but an absurdly top-heavy wine list, purportedly at his insistence, completely wrong for a place whose name means "neighborhood joint"), and Saint (more very enjoyable food, but an uncomfortable place to eat, except at the bar).
I'm still waiting for the day this guy puts it all together. Domani is just okay, and not a great value.
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