First, thanks to the 'Hounds who offered suggestions about where to eat near the Beverly Center. Ultimately, it seemed easiest and most reliable to go to Lucques for their sunday supper, so that's where we went. I'll stick to reviewing the food, since it seems that the atmosphere and service has already been covered in other postings (both very nice, btw).
The starter was billed as Green Goddess Salad with Avocados, Radishes and Romaine. A fine, if standard, green salad. Nothing spectacular, but everything was quite fresh, and there were enough avocados to make things interesting without getting heavy.
I had the Ricotta Gnocchi, which came with a melange of sundry springtime peas, asparagus and a dusting of buttered crumbs on top. Excellent. I love gnocchi, and there is nothing so upsetting as receiving mushy gnocchi when dining out. The texture of the gnocchi was firm but not hard, and the peas, which included sugar snap, english and fava beans, tasted like awakening springtime. The buttered crumbs made for a nice contrast with the soft gnocchi. Even though I didn't think myself very hungry, I polished off the whole plate. (I would note that the serving wasn't monstrous, which I have no problem with.)
Mom had the brisket topped with crumbled feta. It was everything you want brisket to be--tender, flavorful, meaty--but I feel like I made the better choice with the gnocchi, since, after a while, being faced with a big plate of meat loses its interest. Mom didn't complain. She liked it very much.
The dessert was berries with coconut sherbert and coconut macaroons. I had told the server earlier that I don't eat coconut (I didn't say that I had an allergy, which I don't, but I absolutely cannot stand the taste and texture of coconut), and so my dessert was the same berry sauce over what tasted like a creme fraiche ice cream, with buttery cookies on the side. By now, I was utterly stuffed, so I didn't finish my dessert, although it was a nice, lighter way to end a meal rather than some giant chocolatey monstrosity. (Still, I wouldn't have minded chocolate!)
Mom had an Absolut and I had sparking water. She picked up the tab, so I can only guesss that it was somewhere in the $90 range.
So, while I didn't get to experience a new restaurant, I had a very enjoyable meal at a place that is reliable for good food. (I even heard someone at a table next to ours remark that they had never been disappointed with a meal at Lucques.)