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Reviews + Photos from nymag.com
Posted by gottagogottago on 03/18/2008
Was there last saturday night with a group of friends. We are very picky eaters and dine at some of nyc's finest restaurants, and i will say this restaurant can match any in the city. From a friendly gentlemen's voice that took our reservation (still confused as to who it was Maitre'D or GM) to the sweet coat check girl, to great servers that were in and out at the right times. The food, ah the food...awesome at the least. Had read so many reviews and a few mentioned the short ribs, so I had them...simply the best in the city. My friends and I shared or at least attempted to (no one really wanted to share because we liked our dishes so much). We had a birthday celebration (they must have over heard us say it, because we never mentioned it, but a candle and happy birthday found its way on the dessert plate, followed by four glasses of some sweet italian dessert wine classy!) The only thing that kind of made the dinner experience difficult was the noise...those darn vaulted ceilings really amplify the sound, making it difficult to hear each other. Overall the experience was great, will go back again.
Posted by Anonymous on 02/21/2008
My dinner w/ friends on his birthday: Had papardelle as appetizer...quite good but salty. All the fish entrees I tried were great. Desert was one of the best I tried in Manhattan. The reservation desk man's service was one of the worst of all the upscale restaurants I've ever been to. I've mentioned ahead about my friend's birthday and he never managed to arrange a simple candle light in his desert. Host was quite arrogant and was lack of humor I thought I was being served by a church priest. All the great food but left w/ a disappointment. Forgot to mention: Wait staffs' service was intense...stuffy and nervous as if they have a mean boss. The bread server never managed to check if we needed more bread. And when I asked him for another bread, he gave an illed look. A chef was going around the dining hall and greeted w/ smile.
Posted by newyorkfoodie on 01/13/2008
This is some of the best Italian food I've ever had...and that includes some of the food I've had in Italy. The price fixe here is truly a great value: for $65, you get an appetizer, an entree and a dessert, plus a chef's special appetizer, a sorbet to cleanse your pallet before dessert, and an extra dessert on the house (which I think I got because it was my birthday). Either way, the flavors were exceptional. The chef's special porcini mushroom ravioli was incredible...the sauce was rich and creamy, but didn't overwhelm the flavors of the mushroom. I had the braised short ribs with a cherry pepper glaze and fennel-apple puree. The ribs were exquisite...tender and juicy- they practically melt in your mouth. Highly recommend the risotto- normally, I am not a fan, but this risotto was simply incredible. One bite and the flavors are so complex that you instantly feel satiated. The service was also phenomenal: dishes were laid out like clockwork, with enough space in between each course to give you a dining "experience"- not just a meal. My water glass was never half-empty...requests for more bread (you have to ask around here) were immediately granted. Atmosphere is 'traditional Italian' ...I think if people realize that this is northern regional cuisine (some people mistake it as a French influence, I think), and not your traditional red-sauce-based Italian fare, then they will be in for a pleasant surprise.
Posted by Dave on 11/17/2007
I wanted to take my new girlfriend to a nice restaurant for our first date. I'm from the Midwest, and hadn't been to New York for a while, so I suggested she make reservations for us at a restaurant she liked. The food was just outstanding - try the braised foie gras. The service was impeccable. The only criticisms I can think of is that the tables are a bit too close together, and it is quite expensive. Our bill, with tax and tip, came to about $400. Half of that was for a bottle of excellent Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, however. A couple could choose a less expensive wine and dine here for $200. The next time I'm in NYC, I will definitely pay them another visit. The best meal I've had in a long, long time.
Posted by NY Diner on 11/05/2007
Went here with a girlfriend on a Saturday night. We couldn't get reservations until 9:30 - though the restaurant had a lot of empty tables when we got there at 9:15. The food was very good - nice bread service (though they only came by once), nice extras (they gave us an extra appetizer and two extra desserts). The dinner menu is quite large and has a lot to offer. I had the butternut agnolotti and the braised short ribs - both were very good. My friend had the penne with sausage and the striped bass - she said they were both very good. For dessert we had the mascarpone cheesecake and the chocolate tart. The wine list was expensive and the service was spotty. We seemed to have 6 different waiters that kept coming by and oggling us and asking us questions. By the time we were served dessert it was about 11:45 - and the waiters proceeded to try to rush us out. They kept coming by and trying to take our plates away when it was obvious that we were still eating. And then they hovered over us until I felt so uncomfortable I had to leave. The food was very good, but the service is very obtrusive - I don't feel like the $240 bill was worth the experience. I will not be returning.
Posted by sean on 09/21/2007
everything about this meal was amazing. first of all, the number of choices on a prix fixe menu suprised me. probably the most I've seen. and even the things I don't like looked good the way they were put together. everything we ordered was beyond excellent. get the venison chop. seriously. we were also given a full extra first course (which the chef came out to explain), a tasting plate of a ravioli, and two extra dessert dishes. I don't know if that's because it was my girlfriend's birthday or just for the sake of it, but either way, it was very much appreciated (and good). her dessert came with a candle and a "happy birthday" message on the plate. the staff was all extremely friendly...not only to us, but to the tables around us. this is truly one of the best dining experiences I've had. I can't recommend the restaurant enough.
Posted by Karen on 08/24/2007
This is one of the best restaurants in NYC. For some reason there is no "hype" surrounding this place but there should be. Traditionally one does not think of Italian food in this way but this rmenu can easily stand up to Bouley, Danielle, Danube and the rest. The food was exquisite and the service was impeccable. Our waiter Tim's punctuated and precise description of every ingredient in the specials made each dish come alive and made it difficult to select just one! The service overall was flawless, informative and made this truly a perfect meal. We were not disappointed with a single dish. Our only complaint is that it is a fixed price menu and so we could not taste more dishes! Next time we will do the regional tasting menu just to try as many as these amazing items as we can. Thanks for a great dinner!