At first I didn't want to go to Blu because I heard it was so pretentious, but we had a wonderful lunch there on Monday. The appetizer was paper thin proscuitto with baby arugula, marscapone, and purple rice, set up to take a bite of each. Delicious contrasting flavors and textures. I could have eaten a LOT of this. We shared the two entrees offered, steak frites and gnocci. The steak had a delicious flavor even though it was super soft and the frites were crispy, thin, and tasty. Came with flash-cooked yellow and red tomatoes that tasted garden-y, not supermarket underripe. The gnocci was not successful in my opinion; too much going on on the plate - sharp parmesan and pesto and peach puree and roasted peaches that tasted a lot like liquer. The flavors did not go well together for me. Dessert was fantastic though - I don;t know the name of it but it had a cake base with bing cherries, a crisp shortbread cookie, and amazingly rich but not too sweet chocolate drizzled all over and forming a puddle under the extra whole dipped cherry. My mouth is watering for this at 9 a.m.!
Taranta was very disappointing. Friends of mine raved about this place - maybe they perform more successfully when it isn't RW? Anyway, appetizer of 3 mini fried calzones was heavy and tasted sort of like tacos inside fried dough. One of the 3 was okay, cheese and olives but I wouldn't want more than one bite. Other choice of green salad was just mesclun with a very lemony (too lemony) dressing. Blah. Dinner of baked handmade pasta was like lasagne - boring, mooshy. Pork entree was WAY too much Fall-season food - nut crusted pork with roasted squash and sweet portobello mushrooms and squishy figs. Roasted greens were okay but it was all too sugary and heavy for the summer evening. I hate that feeling when you walk away from an anticipated dinner that wasn't anywhere up to par! (Have other people eaten here?)
Wish I had more time to go to other places - other reviews are great to read :)