we thought it would be a good evening to try it out, given that the grandeur seems perfectly apropos on this night especially.
service was very warm. the host walked out to greet us as we entered. we found the ambiance and decor to be tasteful and enjoyable, especially since there wasn't a bit of snobbery in the service.
the leharte rose brut i had was really delicious, as was the $45 pinot noir that was a recommendation of the wine guy. it was a perfectly balanced complement to our dishes.
the amuse bouche were all wonderful, especially the super-aromatic, crispy white truffle mini rice ball.
the house made breads were a fine conduit for the bf's trip to heaven with the lardo. he's pretty hard to please with food but this totally did him in.
bf started out with mario's house sausage, which was full of rich sweet and spicy hot flavor and served with a delicious mustard. my starter was the rucola salad - the tiniest, freshest little baby arugula i've ever seen, so delicate and peppery! - with roasted beets and a delightful coach farm carino cheese.
next we split the lobster risotto for two. it was very rich and full of buttery flavor and light and airy at the same time.
bf got the duck for his entree - it was melt-in-the-mouth delicious (don't remember the preparation though). my delmonico steak itself was terrifically tender and juicy and tasty. it had that yummy dry aged flavor, and a very special extra flavor that i couldn't place at first... until i realized it was olive oil! a very clean, tasty olive oil. the torino di ricotta that accompanied it was quite bitter and not to my liking, and the spicy rapini was ok.
figgy pudding with homemade zabaglione and salty caramel for dessert was quite good, as were the tiny cookies they presented to us at the end of the meal. the grappa truffle was amazing!
it was a fully enjoyable dining adventure on new year's for someone who usually prefers holing up in a cabin somewhere with friends.