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dinner at Ian - a long report on the meal and the experience

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dinner at Ian - a long report on the meal and the experience

Deenso | May 25, 2006 11:25 AM

My husband and I met friends for dinner at Ian (322 E 86) last night and had a strange experience. Things started off well – we arrived at about 6:45p and sat at the bar to await our dining companions. The bartender said, “You got here just in time – our happy hour special ends at 7. You get a free slider with your drinks.” There were 3 choices – spicy tuna, kobe beef burger and chicken, wrapped in that stuff that reminds me of shredded wheat but I can’t remember the name. We ordered our drinks and 2 sliders – the tuna and the chicken. They also had long strips of fried plantains at the bar – it would be real easy to acquire an addiction to those.

Our friends arrived after we got our drinks, ordered their own and 2 more sliders – another tuna and the burger. The first 2 sliders arrived while we were at the bar, each on a small roll and sliced in half, and were certainly large enough to share, which we did. Quite good. Then we waited for quite a while for the other 2 to eat with our drinks at the bar, but they didn’t show up and we decided to take our table about 10-15 minutes later. They arrived as we were being seated.

The menu was very interesting – American with influences of Latin, Hawaiian, Pacific Rim. We skipped the appetizers, since the freebies were enough. We ordered our meals at about 7:30. Bread and water were delivered to the table. To accompany the bread, we got a couple of dishes of highly seasoned olive oil. The waiter brought with her a bunch of fresh oregano and asked if we wanted any in our oil. We said yes and she used a little pair of scissors to cut some into each dish. The bread was good and the oil was too highly seasoned for me, but my husband and our friends enjoyed it while we waited for our dinner. And waited. And waited.

At about 8:15, we flagged our waiter down and asked what was going on. He said our order was the next one up and should be out within 5 or 10 minutes. Our friend went to put money in his parking meter, 2 blocks away, and came back. We were still waiting. The hostess happened by and we asked her. “Oh, it should be out any second,” she assured us, as she disappeared into the kitchen. At 8:20, the maitre d’ came to our table with apologies, but no food. Another waiter came by with dessert menus, asking if we wanted to order dessert now, since they would take about 20 minutes or so to prepare. We declined.

Our dinners finally arrived at about 8:30 and we actually enjoyed everything very much. I had a special – tournedos Rossini (I didn’t ask the price) – a 3-oz beef filet topped with a couple of pieces of lobster meat and served atop a bed of risotto and sautéed spinach. The meat was perfectly cooked and well seasoned and extremely rich. I was unable to finish it. My husband had the “Dirty Drunken Ribeye” ($36), which was marinated and then rubbed with some wonderful spices and served with honey-roasted potatoes. One of our friends had the “Hawaiian Fusion” ($36), which consisted of three pieces of seafood: 1) seared tuna, topped with foie gras, 2) sea bass and 3) lobster – also served on risotto. Her husband ordered the “Pacific Rim Surf and Turf” ($38), which was a combo of a smaller piece of the same ribeye my husband got, a piece of the sea bass and a single shrimp, wrapped in that same shredded wheat thing as the chicken slider and fried. Everyone was really happy with their dinners and nothing was left on any of their plates.

When we asked for the check, the maitre d’ came to our table and said, “There is no check. We’ve taken care of the entire meal for all of you and apologize again for the delay you experienced.” We’d already taken care of our bar bill, so we left a big tip for the waiter, figuring it sure wasn’t his fault that the kitchen was so slow (of course, he might have forgotten to put the order in, but we gave him the benefit of the doubt), and agreed that the food had been so good that we’d give the place another shot.

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