Had a very enjoyable large-party dinner the other night at Dedo. The dining room does look a little nicer, with some fresh artwork, though the cheap-ass wall sconces and hideous carpet remain.
Winners: tuna-sashimi-filled deviled eggs (we had to beg to be served a bar-menu item in the dining room), the previously-reviewed veal cheek app, a couple of nice salads, the ahi poke. Best of the bunch was mine (my luck): the "cappucino" app. This consisted of a nice bunch of crispy, small pieces of sweetbreads and some black truffles in a lot of rich gravy, topped with a foamed, chestnut based sauce, nearly a rich stew. Served in a cappucino mug with a little spoon, it's a droll presentation, but fully delicious. Tough call as to whether that beats the veal cheek.
Less interesting: most of the entrees. Dedo seems to be yet another place where the small plates and apps show off the chef's gifts more dramatically than the entrees. My short ribs of pork (a new dish to me) was very generously sized, served on a lovely shredded cabbage undercarriage, but didn't transport. I was less impressed with a friend's crunchy, chicken-scallopine-like dish. A black cod special and a ribeye steak were probably the standouts in this course. The grilled polenta was merely okay, would definitely have benefited from more interesting and copious sauces.
Wine list is short and refreshingly bargain priced, but I wouldn't mind seeing more geographic breadth here: some more New World or Iberian wines to complement the value-priced Californians and Pacific Northwest wines that dominate.
Some very pleasant desserts (done by the chef himself), like a strawberry shortcake with a terrific biscuit and excellent ice cream instead of whipped cream, a grownup version of Smores, and a pretty good caramel/chocolate panna cotta.
Pre-dinner cocktails are a big improvement over the prior version of this place; real mixologists at work.
Overall, a very satisfying meal with mostly very good service on a frantic night (nice to see crowds here). But I will probably be eating at the bar next time, so I can try more of those little bites in lieu of the hearty and very reasonable, but less challenging dining room main courses.