The menu says, PROPER ATTIRE ENCOURAGED. I wish the dude in the frayed jeans and the "I LOVE MY GIRLFRIEND" T-shirt had read it.
We considered the omakase, but i really didn't see myself eating that much. I went in with the firm idea that, given the high level of culinary art on display, i would try everything i was served, even if it's not to my normal taste. So i tried the blue cheese dressing with my iceberg wedges salad and enjoyed it; i got the beef and reef, and ate all the mushrooms, which went well with the filet mignon; and for dessert, i ordered the Ooh!, and ate the black olive ice cream. I generally abhor olives, but the waiter explained that the saltiness of the ice cream was there to cut the richness of the various chocolates; i figured i had nothing to lose. I don't know if i would have liked it on its own, but the ice cream fulfilled its duty as a richness buffer with flying colors, uh, flavors.
Kimmy had the baby lettuce salad and the filet mignon, and the Pearadise for dessert; we also ordered the haricot verts, and a couple of hamachi shots, which were simply delicious. The amuse-bouche were also very good.
As for the wine, i opened with a glass of the aged riesling (not the one listed; it was a 1989 Dr. Heyden Oppenheimer Kruez Auslese from Germany), which was a highlight for me; it was quite complex for a white wine, it showed its age very well, and it adapted well to everything i had before my entrée. We then ordered the Barbaresco half-bottle to go with our filets, which did an admirable job despite my initial skepticism (it tasted like a pinot noir trying to impersonate a merlot). For dessert, Kimmy got a glass of their muscat, which was excellent, not too sweet, and paired perfectly with the Pearadise, and i asked for a glass of 1968 madeira. Sadly, they were out, so the server upsold me to a glass of 1983 vintage port and one of the 10-year madeiras (the latter came at no charge).
I have to showcase my dessert.
It is as described in the dessert menu, except that the bits you see surrounding the black olive ice cream on the right are minced cacao nibs. The chocolate sphere was not precisely filled with fudge; rather, it was a dollop of fudge about the same size as the ice cream.
When the dish was brought out, the sphere was complete; hot melted chocolate was poured upon it until it melted through and fell upon the fudge within the sphere, leaving the jagged edges you see above.
They brought this out as their gift, purportedly some sort of apple crème brûlée, but Kimmy thought it tasted more like pumpkin. It tasted more like apple pie to me, with a definite cinnamon flavor which i did not care for. The other freebies we got were two flutes of Cristalino Brut, which were the first things to arrive at the table.
When our server pulled the cork from our bottle of Barbaresco, he put it in this weird contraption, clearly intending to display the cork, but the next time he came by our table, he took it away.
Our meal, overall, was fantastic. But i have some complaints:
- Their online menu wasn't updated, so a few dishes we wanted were missing. The omission i found most puzzling was the Divinity, the chocolate soufflé, which was inexplicably replaced by the Rise ‘n’ Shine, a banana soufflé.
- We were amused by patrons receiving cotton candy as the sweet that comes with the bill; we were looking forward to ours, but the blasted machine broke just before we received our bill. We received some odd ultra-French toast-like squares instead, which weren't all that and really were too sweet for that point in the evening.
- There's no other way to put this: the men's room smelled like tinkle. If i'm going to a ballgame, fine. If i'm going to a fancy restaurant, unacceptable.
- Kimmy found the chairs almost too uncomfortable. Again, not what you'd expect at a high-end restaurant.
Regardless, it was all fabulous and i'd do it again, especially if someone else is paying.