I had heard that 71 Clinton was closing soon, so when I found myself (once again) strolling through Clinton street last night, my friend and i decided to pop in to do a quick late dinner and finally try it. We stayed at the bar as it was pretty late, and I had decided on two appetizers prior to entering the resto ( I have a serious infatuation with appetizers). Everything sounded amazing and was really excited to try the food before it closed its doors in March. Unfortunately, my eagerness was met with disappointment: heavy-handed seasoning and carlessness. I admire the ingenuity, and definite beauty of the menu -but it seems as if they didn't check the taste/ texture at all! I ordered the trout tartare whose composition was beautiful and delicate but the flavor was completely overwhelemed by the pine nuts - sort of like strapping sand bags to a fine wine glass. I spent most of the course fishing out the pinenuts to salvage the lovely fish, but gave up half way through. My sea urchin risotto sounded promising but came closer to what looked like a porridge (read: extremely wet, bordering soup-ey). it had bits of sea urchin "stuck" in it, and about a tablespoon of chives mounded on top. The flavors didn't come together - they didn't even try. My friend had a lot more success with the sweetbreads (which were good) and a delicately poached haddock. Wonderful texture and presentation - although the waitress kept trying to convince us it was a confit of haddock (OY!)Needless to say, I ate more of his food than mine. We did end up having a nice bottle of wine - an Arbois (red)Montagny-l�s-Arsures - never had something from that region so was pleasantly surprised. Could not get over my disappointment and muster enough courage to go for desert- especially when WD 50 (and my ultimate crush, Sam Mason) was lurking so close by. So overall, a real disappointment - which blew my night because I was really rooting for it to be good.Sigh.