Paci. I ate there this weekend. I have also been toldl that this is a place whose best chef and best days are behind it. Everything I experienced there confirms that this is so.
First the plussed.....
The room is very nice.
The crowd is well-moneyed and genteel. (I ran into one of my other money-manager friends, worth at one time 80 million, and that's good for him, perhaps the Paci wine list seems affordable to him).
The servers were solicitous, though in a fairly smarmy, European way.
Now on to the food. I tried the linguine and shrimp appetizer-sized pasta, and was surprised by a couple of things.....The pasta was too soft. The shrimp were too small. 5 small ones instead of 2 or 3 big ones. There was no cheese in the dish, it didn't really bind together and become a cohesive whole.
I tried the lobster soup and thought that absent was the clarifying flavor of FRESH lobster stock. In fact, the whole thing had a very slightly "going bad" quality to it. Very, very disappointing. I tried the hot peppers. They were hot an not much else, although the pecorino that came with them was very good, but I can buy cheese too.
I tried the fettucini and salmon. I didn't read the menu description but it had a smokey flavor throughout which had better have been mentioned, but which was not pleasurable to my taste.
Finally I had the veal scallopini Milanese. These are popular these days, these veal cutlets which we all made ourselves at home thirty years ago, although we weren't creative enough to top them with salad, as is the trend these days. Lianna's has one too, it's also wildly overpriced. Both are over thirty dollars, and I have trouble understanding that, except to say this......
There are restaurants that are more clubs that public accomodations places where the local multi-multi millionairs know that for an extra 10 or 12 dollars per serving they will not have to dine next to the great unwashed, the hoi polloi, the Black Duck crowd, essentially. Paci is one of those places. There was nothing really wrong with it. Other than the room and the participants, there was nothing particularly right about it either. Not for the money. Oh and I ordered a bottle of Italian red wine, about 35 dollars, which was itself the perfect metaphor for Paci........there was nothing at all really wrong with the wine, but nothing particularly noteworthy about it either.