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a voce review

Fielding | Aug 16, 2006 09:22 PM

Dinner for six at a Voce

The environment was trendy, but kind of industrial looking. It was more fashionable than romantic. The noise level was ridiculously loud.

The service was warm but haphazard. When you could find the waiter, he was very friendly and informative. It sometimes took 15 minutes for wine orders to be delivered.

The meal started with good bread that had been lightly grilled served with amazing ricotta cheese. This is apparently delivered to every table when the restaurant gets a shipment. The ricotta is lightly dusted with sea salt fresh herbs and olive oil.

The restaurant's signature dish seems to be duck meatballs. The meatballs were fine, but its hard to see what the big deal is. If this is the restaurant's specialty, it doesn't deserve to stay open for very long.

Other appetizers included a good beet salad, with delicious yellow and good red beets, and a sea bass tartare, with a hint of citrus nicely balanced by the inclusion of pine nuts.

The ragu of lamb with gnocchi is not much of a summer dish, but I'd heard it was good so I gave it a try. The ragu was pretty good, but it didn't go very well with the gnocchi. The ricotta served with it didn't help much. I think the ragu would go better with papperdelle or penne.

I also tasted a ravioli special with sweet corn in a buttery broth that was delicious, and steak which was nothing special. The meal was taking way too long, so we skipped dessert.

The highlights were the ricotta cheese and the ravioli. The biggest negative was the noise.

Frank Bruni gave this place three stars, which is a wild stretch. If it weren't so loud, and if the service were more professional, I would probably give it two stars, which is approximately what the food deserves. With the noise and chaos, one star is more reasonable.

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