Thanks to my fellow hounds for their input on Lidia Bastianich's places here in the city. As promised, here's my report:
Overall, a pleasant experience.
The table of four shared some appetizers: the stuffed zucchini blossoms and the asparagus salad. The zucchini blossoms were very good, but a bit over prepared. They were served casserole style, stuffed with buffala and casseroled in tomato/cheese sauce. The asparagus salad was very nice. The asparagus and edemame were super fresh and nicely prepared. It was the better of the two appetizers.
My friends ordered the zuppe de pesce (very good, fresh seafood in a light seafood broth), duck breast (perfectly prepared), tuna steak (excellent tuna served with cool sliced onions cherry tomatoes and strawberries. This was a pleasant surprise except for the fact that the strawberries were not particularly ripe). I had the beef cheeks, and they were excellent. My first reaction was that it tasted like the best brisket that I have ever had. Very rich and beefy, really very nicely done.
We shared two deserts, a chocolate cake (fair) and the apple and dried cherry strudel with vanilla gelato. The strudel was good, but the kicker was the fresh hunk of hive honey that they served along side the strudel. Maybe it was the novelty of it, but it was really excellent.
The service was good, but not great. The room however was very nice (we sat in the back room, ground level). The atmosphere was really homey.
I will echo the comment of some of my fellow hounds. It was a pleasant experience overall, but a bit pricey for good food and mediocre service. I could get better food and service elsewhere for the same price tag.