Restaurants & Bars

Manhattan

March and Kai (long)

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March and Kai (long)

JGS | Jun 9, 2002 03:32 PM

Went to March for the first time yesterday, and had a very enjoyable meal. The room is lovely, although some of the tables are closer to one another than I would have hoped. The wait staff was polite, knowledgable and attentive, without being overbearing. One complaint, though -- our waiter kept trying to push drinks on us. He pushed us to order a glass of champaign to start; he offered only bottled water; he replaced an empty bottle of water with a new one without asking; and he pushed the after-dinner drinks. I saw him do the same thing (only worse) to a couple sitting next to us -- he pushed a whole bottle of wine when they clearly requested a half bottle, and he pushed the most expensive stuff.

But other than that, service was good. As to the food, I loved the tasting menu approach to the place. They have approximately two dozen items on the menu, each the size of appetizers (or in some cases, slightly larger, but nothing is the size of a true entree). The idea is to order either 3, 4, or 5 dishes each, depending on hunger and price range. The wiater recommended that we order four dishes each (dessert is then included), and we followed his advice ($85 per meal, without the accompanying wines -- optional -- or any supplements). Highlights: soft shell crab; duck (incredibly flavorful; perfectly crispy on the outside and tender inside); venison (also perfectly cooked and flavorful without being overbearing, but although I loved it, I confess that my dinner companion didn't). All in all, a very good (but not spactacular) experience.

Price for dinner, with tax, tip, two drinks each, and two bottles of unrequested water (I know, I know, I should have complained) was $300. I thought it was about $30 to $50 too high, based on my experience at other comparable Manhattan restaurants. As we were leaving, a large party outside the restaurant was debating whether the dinner they just had was seriously overpriced. I didn't sense a consensus.

On a wholly separate note, has anyone been to Kai? A friend whose tastes I trust ate there yesterday, and was raving today (he rarely raves). He loved it so much he is hoping to go back Monday. He also said it was an exceptional meal for $55. I'm interested in the opinions of other 'hounds.

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