I took a friend for lunch for her birtdhay and was pretty disappointed by the experience.
The bread and table olive oil were pretty good. Especially the tomato focaccia with fennel seeds. I liked the head of roasted garlic that they included.
I asked the server to suggest a good vegetarian appetizer for me. He suggested the white asparagus so I ordered it. He returned five minutes later saying that they didn't have it and suggested the potato fennel soup.
We had to wait forever for the first course. Most of the other diners were having the prix fix so the food came out much quicker for them. Maybe we should have ordered it as the desserts at least looked fresher but I didn't see the gnudi on the menu and didn't find it as veg friendly so I decided against it.
The soup was not good. Incredibly lemony, salty and with an odd mishmash of herbs drizzled everywhere (a lot of herbs) like dill sage and mint. The crostini was OK, improved the dish overall, but still not fabulous. Too much stuff on it--again seemed like a mish mash.
My friend got an assortment of meats on skewers for her app. She said it was good.
For our mains we shared the gnudi (with the speck on the side). Again, very salty. It WAS good, as many previous diners have said. But heavy, and not above and beyond what one would expect with such ingredients. The sage leaves (fried crisp) and the chanterelles were nice. It was good but not phenomenal.
For dessert we ordered the ice cream sandwich. A previous chowhound post said it was the best dessert. The menu said it would come with chocolate gelato. What came was a bland french vanilla (ice cream, I believe--not gelato). Nothing special at all but here was what really made me sad--the brioche that sandwiched the scoop was STALE. Very stale.
Very disappointing. Especially since I was bringing a good friend for what I expected would be a special treat on her birthday. I had told the hostess by the way about the birthday when i made the reservation and she said she would put a little candle in the cake. I told the server just in case they needed reminding when we got there and no candle, no anything.
I wasn't the only diner disappointed with the food. The man having the prix fix next to us ordered some meat dish that he asked the server to take back once--perhaps to cook more?--and after they brought it back and he tried it again he returned it once more saying, "this is really not working for me".
Oh well. Bad day? Wrong menu choices? Perhaps. But I won't chance it again.