What a great new restaurant. Home runs from the pre-dinner "drink" (a sangria sorbet conconction with carbonated port) to the brownie-peanut butter-malted milk ball dessert. GE is whimsical and innovative without being up itself. Portions were perfect. Wines were delicious and well priced. Loved the gnocchi, beets, sole and stroganoff. Frankly, our biggest issue with the menu was narrowing it down to two starters and two entrees.
I loved the service here. Our server was friendly, knowledgeable, even doing a great job of helping us select really nice wines (which can be difficult in a fusion restaurant, as you're never sure how to pair). Another couple was complimenting the host about their server on the way out. The food was good -- a hair too complicated, but everything we had was flavorful, well prepared and well presented. And it was cool of them to bring my husband a complimentary birthday flan when we said we were headed home for birthday cake.
Caro Mio is the perfect neighborhood Italian place. Tasty options for everyone, friendly service (although I think they were short-handed this night), and BYO. Lately I feel like many Italian menus are too fussy and limited, but at Caro Mio, I'm torn between lots of great-looking possibilities. And I've been happy with everything I've tried.
I think Coco Pazzo is still probably a fine place to bring business guests, but we found it to be merely okay. We came in at $52/per person, with only one bottle of wine for four people, appetizers and pasta dishes. So for the RRR average, you're probably not eating from the secondis or having dessert. There were very few bottles under $60, so perhaps the perception of range is based on how high the wine list goes. While the tomato soup and squash blossoms were good, and the duck pasta was really good, two of our appetizers underimpressed. Skip the mushy, flavorless sliced beef appetizer, and the salmon tartare, which my friend said "had a nice flavor, but not of salmon."
We've been to Maza a few times now, because it's always a fun place to eat. We'd always seen other people eating the Maza Deluxe appetizer sampler, and thought we'd give it a try this time. "Serves Two" is a joke -- it's 20-something dishes, and I think we got through about 40% of what was put in front of us. (But it sure was fun trying.) Standouts, as always, were the soup, Lebanese red wine, lighter salads and dips -- a nice, smoky baba ghanouj.
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Everything we tried at Maza was absolutely delicious (save for the pickled turnip, but that may just be a personal bias). Two of us split three appetizers (hummus, green beans in a tomato sauce, and ground lamb fried in a cracked wheat coating), as well as one delicious lamb entree, and were very happy. The Lebanese wine they were pouring that night was a nice, tasty complement. But as you've read on this page before, the service was fairly distracted. I like the welcoming, friendly, slightly more upscale feel of Maza, but we were seated for a long time before we even had a chance to ask for the wine list. (And should we have had to ask?) Still, no question: we'll go back.
Frites with aioli -- what more do you need to hear? Our friends were raving about their mussels, and everything else we had was quite good. Best of all, you can't beat the beer list. I just love the friendly pub atmosphere here, combined with pretty authentic Belgian pub-food-plus, as well as the nonsmoking dining room in back. Just a great, casual, relaxed meal with friends.
I really, really dug this place. Totally friendly -- you'd be comfortable in jeans or decked out. Everything we ate was absolutely outstanding. We've been complaining a lot that restaurants get so fussy that you can't taste the food. Not here. Everything is simply but elegantly prepared and expertly matched with other things on the plate. My duck confit and parsnip puree were out of this world. His pot roast and potatoes were perfect. The wine and beer selection includes interesting stuff you don't see on every list (and both our picks were delicious). Portions were right on the mark -- not so big that we couldn't have a little dessert, or left there feeling overserved. Service was friendly, and right there when we wanted them, without being in our face. The room is warm and inviting. AND they fit us in when we called at the last minute to check availabilities. We'll totally go back.
We loved the room and you can't beat the place for convenience to the theaters and reasonable prices. Good wines, too. Some of the food was a bit over-sauced, but for the most part we liked the good comfort dishes done with a little bit of a twist.