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Incanto X'mas 7 fishes dinner report (long)

dd | Dec 27, 200502:19 PM

I was quite underwhelmed by our dinner. It made me wonder once again about those so-called Special Holiday Dinners. Are they just not worth it? Incanto called this "Feast of the Seven Fishes". I'll describe them one by one.
1. Amuse bouche -- Salt Cod Ball with Rapini-- The Rapini was perfectly seasoned with a hint of citrus, texture is firm yet tender; Cod is salty tasting and nothign else. Overall, nice but not special enough.
2. Octopus crudo with Blood Orange & Marjoram -- Again the citrus flavor came through nicely, but I doubt very much it was blood orange for it did not have the usual bright red color in the dressing, fish iteself was thinly sliced, sort of cappacio style, a bit tough but not rubbery, overall taste was fresh and bright. This turned out to be the best dish of the whole feast.
3. Smoked Eel, Shaved Fennel & Radish Salad -- First, the size of the eel was quite small and then. What bothered me more was the off putting taste, though the salad did help in some way to alleviate the funkiness.
4. Boken Spaghettini with Meyer Lemon & Shellfish -- A very average execution of pasta with clams, in this case, with the addition of mussels. With exactly 3 of each as well as perhaps 3 bites of pasta, the portion seemed ridiculously small. In fact, up to this point, all the above mentioned dishes were very small in sizes, kind of like what you would get from those of a Tasting Menu.
5. Chianti-braised Monkfish with Fennel Brandade & Monkfish Liver -- At least the size of this dish was decent. I enjoyed the liver more than the fish, the texture was a bit too mushy. The Brandade was nice and smooth and well flavored.
6. X'mas Cookie Plate or Venetian Chocolate Panettone or Sliced Cara Cara Orange & Grapefruit -- We ordered the first two to share. Basically we left pretty much most of them untouched. They were worse than store bought, dry and too sweet.
With tips and 3 glasses of wine, the bill was $190.00. I think I had better food at 1/2 perhaps 1/3 of its cost somewhere else.
I am wondering if anyone else had the same dinner that night and came away with similar or different experience.

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