ilo is finnish for "bliss", and beyond bliss is what I felt when I had finished my dinner here the other night; it's unusual for me to initiate a post; usually what I do is respond to other people's points or amplify what has been said already; but, the other night, I tried out Ilo, the in-house restaurant at the Bryant Park hotel, at 40 West 40 Street, and, hounds, I can attest that the cooking was incredible...I had the tasting menu of some seven courses, the waitress swore that each portion would be much smaller than if it were a main course...but I don't think they were much smaller!
I was stuffed by course number three! the opening course was salmon roe tartare, full of the taste of the open sea; next came pate de foie gras mixed with an infusion of prunes and some kind of liqueur; Fabulously fresh and rich in the mouth, served with what appeared to be toasted whole wheat points; next came crab legs in some kind of green sauce whose ingredients I couldnt' identify, but the dish was delicious beyond belief...next came medallions of rabbit, served with confit of rabbit and dandelion greens wrapped in a pasta square! scrumptious! There was a dessert interlude of coconut and lemon ice cream, I believe, served with cookies, and then a final dessert of hazelnut and chocolate dacquoise, I think it was... I realize this entire description has been cursory, but trust me, the food is magnificent, and I;m more than happy to share the good news with you, my fellow chowhounds
My only quibble was the space; I had a problem with the way it was laid out, overlooking a lounge on a lower level; something about it was off-putting; though the food was costly, the cooking was exceptionally fine, and those of you looking for a special occasion place at the high-end price point would do well to consider this place.