My wife and I took my parents to Cafe Atlantico Saturday and had an excellent time. The food and the service - featured highs and not-so-highs, but a late-dinner bit of generosity from Jose himself made the meal a memorable one.
Highs were the foie gras soup and conch fritter for apps and the red snapper and salmon entrees. Mediums were spiny lobster and pheasant entrees.
As dinner went along, it was clear some VIPs were holding a big birthday party behind us. They were getting a lot of attention from Jose Andres and were clearly friends of his. Near the end of the evening a huge cake was brought out, complete with beautiful sugar sculptures. It was an amazing sight...we joked with the waitress about getting us each a piece, to which she said even she couldn't get any of it. It wasn't meant for us, so that was all fine.
But not ten minutes later she and another waitress ceremonially delivered four generous pieces to our table, courtesy of Chef Andres himself. Seems my wife had chatted him up on the way to the ladies room and he told her she should have some cake. Anyway, the cake was amazing -- 7 layers of contrasting textures and flavors -- and Jose Andres won over another few customers.