I recently ate at Splendido based on the recommendations on this board, and though I had a nice time there, I was very surprised and disappointed at the quality of the food.
Has anyone else had this experience, or did I merely hit them on an off night?
It's not that the food was bad, just that it wasn't very GOOD. And with a bill that came out to about $175 per person (with wine, including tax but not tip), I wanted the food to be very, very good.
I had the tasting menu, and the low-lit, gently paced, drawn out experience that I usually love about a tasting menu did not dissapoint. But that euphoria that comes from a really excellent menu where each course is more dazzling than the last just didn't happen.
The beet salad was nice but unexceptional, the mushroom ravioli was good but didn't seem to make sense with the quail egg it was served with, and the apex of the meal, the smoked rabbit, was so overwhelmed by smoke flavor that I couldn't taste anything else in the dish. Each course just felt a little bit "off," like there was one aspect that could have been done better (or in some cases, should have been left out.)
As I mentioned, I had a nice time at Splendido. No one could fault the service, and the four-star details are a pleasure, if you like that sort of thing. And I do.
But at the end of the day, the quality of the food on the plate is of much greater importance than the quality of the plate. The three types of beets served in my salad were local, organic, and, as they were prepared, merely okay.
So, if others have had a more positive experience with the food there, I would like to hear of it. Please tell me, if I should return, what should I order next time that is consistently great. Because I so much want to like this restaurant. The food at this restaurant. I want to like the food.