We ate at Cortez tonight and I have to say I was really impressed. I don't ordinarily like small plates since they don't seem like a very good value and they don't generally satisfy me. The plates at Cortez were different.
Each plate was beautiful, the perfect size, with satisfying full flavor. Perfect. We had:
The fig & arugula salad, layered with Serano ham, some sort of parmesan cheese & fresh figs
Roasted organic beets, balsamic shallot vinaigrette, baby arugula & Point Reyes blue cheese
Frisée salad, smoked trout, apple & avocado with warm fingerling potatoes & mustard beurre blanc
and then these:
Pan roasted organic Meyer Ranch hanger steak, creamy swiss chard & spice dusted crispy onions
The braised short ribs with apple and celeriac
The chicken breast with (some kind of unique) mushrooms and sauteed gnocchi.
The atmosphere was not so loud that we were overstimulated after eating. It wasn't sedate either. Just relaxed. But then, it was Monday and Halloween. It worked for me as I was with business colleagues.
I would have loved to try dessert.
My other thought was that it would be perfect to eat here as a solo diner. The only drawback is the neighborhood. Yes, it's the theater district, but let's just admit it. It's a little bit off color as it gets later. Still, it is a gem.