It’s a well thought-out and appointed space, with music in the background that adds atmosphere but stays out of the way. At noon there were no customers and about 20 staff in the front of the house. By 1:00 it was 60% full, pretty good for only being open for a week. Service was nothing short of outstanding.
The Caesar salad is not the “best Caesar in town,” as explained by the waiter. It’s not bad, in fact it’s pretty good; but there are no anchovies on top, and it is drenched in dressing.
The tuna tartar appetizer was thankfully a little different from the others in town. The fish is instantly seared on one side and then cut into quarter inch cubes. This gives it a very slight firmness that’s a welcome change.
The winner was the macaroni and cheese. They use orecchiette pasta instead of elbow macaroni, which allows for more of the cheese to stick to the noodle. The cheese is the yellow creamy variety, and there is a taste of bacon which adds a welcome smoky saltiness. It’s baked in a small flat baking dish and crunchy breadcrumbs are sprinkled on top for texture. This was one of the best I’ve had.
The Kobe burger was large, with the condiments on the side as I like. It comes with Thousand Island dressing, which was also a plus. In the final analysis, I think Kobe is wasted on a burger. But there it was. The bun was well suited to the burger, remaining intact in spite of the juices. Fries were shoestring and served alongside with a tiny cup of ketchup.
The lamb shank was served over eggplant couscous. The actual couscous was the round ball variety, which is a little difficult to manage. The balls roll around and off the fork, so you never quite get the balance between the couscous and meat that you were going for. But it’s flavorful. The meat was cooked perfectly. It was amazingly tender, like a well-aged filet mignon, sliced into quarter inch slices and topped with tiny dabs of Indian-style mint chutney, a very inspired touch. On the ends of the plate were small pools of Indian raita with green onion, which added tanginess and creamy balance to the other elements.