The hungries attacked the Grubs on Melrose early Fri evening. Because La Grubbe looks tres jolie in the glorious Carafe dining space, stopped by only to discover that it has closed forever. Not surprised. Despite the terrific atmosphere & very reasonable prices, the food struggled to achieve mediocrity. Bottom line: FOOD MATTERS.
So dropped down to Beverly for dinner at Pane e Vino. Great start. Did score their last bottle of Ridge Lytton Springs zin & it opened up just as the delightful carpaccio starter arrived. The Grubman jonesed the 16-oz ribeye (with bone) marking the first time ever to order a steak at an Italian restaurant. Great choice, great steak. Seriously charred on the sunspot-hot grill, but still very rare & tender. Signora Gruba opted for the pasta special, agnolotti stuffed with mascarpone in a browned butter sauce. At approx 1500 calories the bite, simply extraordinary.
Attentive, but not intrusive, service. A splendid experience but for the noise. When seated in the main (front) room only a few tables occupied. Very pleasant. But then, the room filled.
As the noise level elevated to Indy heights, the crashing of the dishes in the nearby open kitchen didnt seem quite so jarring. Even the screaming top-of-the-lungs tag-playing screaming of 3 totally out of control little girls was less intrusive (although their jumping up & down on a nearby booth was a bit, um, over the top.) Im thinkin these were the trophy adopted kids of the celebrity or wannabe couples who chit-chatted oblivious to the carnage about them.
The long-in-the-tooth Grubs have a theory. Most of our fellow diners seemed to be 20- & 30-ish. Perhaps after ones nth concert, ones tinnitus is so bad that one cant hear the noise over the ringing & to hear conversation must be screamed at above the ringing.
In any event, because our ears were bleeding & we were literally shouting across our little table at each other, lingering over espresso & dolce was out of the question. Bottom line: Dining out should not be a painful experience. Despite the outstanding food, we wont be returning to Pane e Vino any time soon.