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Manhattan

Five Points - highly recommended

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Five Points - highly recommended

Asher | Mar 20, 2001 11:55 AM

We dined at Five Points this past Saturday night, March 17, 2001, and it proved to be excellent.

My wife and I were the first of our party to arrive and we took in the beauty of the room: simple in design, with a large front room bisected by a long, waist-high, horizontal log with running water through its center, which created a very Zen-like, tranquil feeling despite the fact that the restaurant was packed. We were seated in the rear room, which was the better of the two, as it allowed for a bit more intimacy. The room had a large skylight and wooden beams that gave the back room a feel of a Japanese tea chamber. Though our table was near the kitchen and its large wood-burning oven, we did not get a feeling that the staff was rushing about, which is often a danger of being seated near a busy kitchen. The flowers were beautiful, and the tall reeds and tall candlesticks contributed to the tranquil atmosphere. Thus far, high scores for decor.

As a wine nut, I was pleased with the $10/bottle corkage. We brought the 1997 Ridge Geyserville, which has been excellent over the last year. The '98 Geyserville was on the list at $60, double retail, and the '98 Zin vintage was not as succesful in California as '97. The wine list was well-chosen and diverse. Pricing was standard, at about twice or 2.5 times retail.

We all enjoyed the food a great deal. The menu apparently changes daily. The salads with goat cheese were terrific, and M’s mushroom tart was wonderful, with a creamy soft goat cheese filing. Entrees were uniformly excellent. B and D ordered salmon, but did not expect the king salmon that was brought to the table. Though I have tired of salmon lately, the fish was firm, meaty and very well prepared. M ordered a baked pasta dish, with fresh plum tomatoes, which was also quite good. The duck that I ordered was terrific, with thick slabs of duck meat atop creamy mushrooms. I liked the fact that the cuts of duck were easily separated from the fat, which resulted in very lean pieces of duck meat. At an average of $20 per entree, Five Points represented excellent quality for the price. In all, we were all quite pleased with the food and each of us was too full to order dessert.

Service was excellent as well. Our waiter was a hip young guy who was very friendly and made us feel welcomed. A very enjoyable dining experience, and we were all most impressed with Five Points. Highly recommended.

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