Many praises here for this place in the last several months. I couldn't wait to try this place in support of another Bay Area transplant, but prefered to wait till the buzz from the good press here and in the papers calmed a bit.
Every dish was excellent and cooked precisely to the right textures. The chef graciously let the pure ingredients speak for themselves. I'll do the same :
foccacia (IIRC), caponata (sweet soft cooked vegetables), a creamy cheese of some sort (ricotta perhaps?) with olive oil
a layered vegetable parmesan, fresh ricotta
grilled octopus, potato, frissee, a basil, vinegar and olive oil dressing
lobster risotto, spring peas and other vegetables, a hint of orange or some other citrus
foie gras and ricotta ravioli, sliced cherries, sweet corn cream, veal reduction
sirloin steak, arugla, shaved parmesan, balsmic dressing, morel mushrooms, caramelized garlic slices (paired with avery supple Arrowwood Cabernet Sauvignon)
a dessert platter:
donut filled with orange cream, chocolate drizzle
almond sponge cake, cream, diced strawberries
chocolate cake, mascarpone ice cream, red wine sauce
I was pleasantly surprised when the chef came by the table and thanked me for ordering the tasting menu. A very personable gesture that softened the rather opulent business-like dining atmosphere. Efficient, helpful, soliticious service.
BTW, the $65 five-course tasting menu is a better value than ordering off the menu. Getting 1 app, a half order of pasta, an entree and dessert would be about the same price.
Remember the thread about top 5 Italian places? I'm moving Vault into one of my top 5s.