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Carbone is clicking on all cylinders! We finally tried it and now are wondering what took us so long. The lively atmosphere is perfect for the style they're trying to evoke, along with a soundtrack that exactly captures the era. Service, from the front of the house to the busboys, is top notch and totally charming. The place is just plain fun! We enjoyed riffing with other diners as much as with the serving team. You're not overly close to neighbors by NY standards, but the place seems to invite friendly interaction. We were at an early seating but never felt rushed.
The meal reminded me of Sunday supper at nonna's where you stuff yourself silly with course after course of delicious homemade food, though with no disrespect to nonna, Carbone kicks it up a notch or three. As for cost, it's not cheap, however we carried home 2 bags of leftovers that we enjoyed for dinner the next day, so on that basis it wasn't all that expensive, and certainly worth the price for the superior quality of the ingredients. We clearly over-ordered, but we wanted to try a lot of dishes.
Shortly after you're seated they bring excellent bread, hunks of fairly good parmigiana reggiano, slices of salami and delicious pickled cauliflower with just a hint of heat. The highly-touted garlic bread also brings some heat and we weren't sure if it was due only to the garlic or some hidden ingredient. There are only two other places in town where we've had focaccia this good (Locanda Verde and Lincoln).
We started with an upscale take on eggplant parmigiana that featured melt-in-your-mouth eggplant stacked in layers like a millefeuille served with globes of wonderful house-made mozzarella as well as a sublime beef carpaccio, as thin as paper and bursting with flavor.
For primi, we shared the justifiably renowned spicy (but not too spicy) rigatoni in vodka sauce, perfectly al dente and enhanced by thin strips of onions, and exceptional lobster ravioli comprising of delicate pasta stuffed with chunks of tender lobster that overflowed onto the plate in a creamy herb sauce. We also could not resist having an order of their meatballs. They're fairly large and come 3 to a plate. They are everything a meatball should be. I should mention that our waiter did not push them on us, I asked for them specifically.
Next we shared the tasty monster-sized veal parmigiana accompanied by a side of broccoli rabe. The veal was cooked on the bone, which was detached and served alongside it so you can gnaw on the attached morsels. The veal was tender and flavorful with a bright tomato sauce and that fabulous mozzarella. We couldn't even finish half of it between the two of us.
The tiramisu for dessert was good though not our favorite preparation of this dish.
My husband doesn't drink so I went with wines by the glass, first a delicious Franciacorta followed by a very good Barolo that married perfectly with the meal. The espresso to end our feast was just right.
We really enjoyed Torrisi Italian Specialties and now we have another favorite.
My husband and I enjoy the other Momofuku restaurants, particularl Ssam, and finally decided to brave the reservation system to try Ko. It was not as difficult as expected, though perhaps choosing a Saturday lunch in August helps. We chose lunch specifically because it includes more courses and we wanted to try a variety of dishes. I also ordered the all sparkling beverage pairing, which included a cocktail, wine, cider and beer. They graciously substituted wine for the beer since I haven't acquired a taste for beer, though I did try it. The cocktail was delicious and the wines well chosen, including excellent grower rose champagne.
The soundtrack is eclectic and fun, but not loud enough to prevent conversation. We're no kids, so I was originally a bit concerned about the backless stools, however, they're padded and even after 3 hours our backs felt fine and we were not at all uncomfortable. We felt it was a bonus to chat with the lovely young couple seated next to us. It's a tiny room and we were impressed at how efficiently the space is used and how well the food and drink preparation and service are choreographed and synchronized.
Every member of the team was delightful! It's a real treat to watch chefs of this caliber at work and to be able to ask questions about the food. Assembling dishes the way that they do is truly an art. All of the dishes and drinks were well described upon presentation and you get a menu to take home to remember them all.
All of this would be only spectacle if not for the exceptional quality of the food. We cannot recall having arctic char that we've enjoyed more, and the scallops were equally outstanding. There were dishes we preferred to others, but nothing that was not delicious. Steph C did a great job of describing the individual dishes so I'll skip the details since our meal was mostly the same. Though not inexpensive, we felt that it offered good value for the price paid.
If you want the grand Michelin star experience, formal serving staff, crisp white tablecloths, dressed up patrons, subtle music, go to Le Bernardin or Daniel, which are both superb, but if you can appreciate fine dining with a casual, modern vibe, you'll love Momofuku Ko.
We're checking our overbooked calendar to see when we might squeeze in a dinner.
My husband and I have dined at Le Bernardin several times for lunches and dinners over the years, and have always been impressed with the consistent quality of the food and service as well as the serene ambiance. I'm not sure if it's possible to improve upon what is a practically perfect experience, though this time the food seemed even more sublime than usual, and the wine pairings married even more harmoniously with the food. We went all out with the Chef's Tasting Menu and it was worth every cent. It would be impossible to pick only one dish as the best, however, unless you don't eat meat, the "surf and turf" which consisted of a white tuna that literally melted in your mouth, paired with a juicy, succulent chunk of Kobe beef, is not to be missed. And you haven't experienced how good langoustines can be until you're had them at Le Bernardin. We were celebrating a special occasion with a dear nephew who was visiting the city for a conference and they brought a special dessert and made him feel as special as he is, so we couldn't be happier to have chosen Le Bernardin. We're already talking about when we might return.
My husband and I loved Cru so we were eagerly anticipating dinner at Ciano. We went on Saturday evening with another couple and all agreed to try the pasta tasting menu.
First, the atmosphere is very warm and cozy with a big fireplace and soft lighting, just perfect on a wintry, miserable evening. Service was very good, though absent at times. We thought the pacing of the meal was perfect, around 3 hours. Best of all was the food itself, every dish was delectable and the portion sizes were just right.
We cannot wait to return to try the a la carte selections.
This was the first time I tried lunch and it was every bit as good as dinner. Some of the same menu items as in the evening, most difference in the main course offerings.
I started with the tuna sashimi, which is a favorite with it's tangy ginger sauce, and followed with a poached salmon salad that blew me away. The salmon melted in my mouth and the greens were well-chosen. I brought a colleague visiting from London and he raved about his dishes. He started with the crab toast followed by chicken. I've had the crab so I know how good that is, and the chicken looked wonderful. Add a bottle of good, French Chablis and what more could you ask for?
Service was just right. Scene is nearly as lively at lunch as at dinner.
We went to Sausalito primarily to have lunch at Sushi Ran and it was well worth the trip (plus the ferry ride back to town was lovely).
We started with dumplings that our waitress recommended and they were totally addictive! The sushi was exceptional, especially accompanied by a very fine sake.
Service was friendly and efficient.
One of our favorite restaurants of the many we tried during our visit to San Francisco. I wish we would have had time to return for dinner. Next trip.
Stunning decor and serene ambience.
We had lunch at Spruce during our recent visit to San Francisco. We found the food to be good, but nothing special and a bit overpriced for the quality. Service was fine but lacked charm. We were underwhelmed.
We tried about 10 highly rated restaurants during our trip and while we probably cannot compare lunches to dinners, I cannot imagine that the dinner would have been that much better.
I'm surprised to read so many comments about the fancy dress. During our time in SF, we were amazed at how casually people dressed at very prestigious restaurants. Even if you don't wear a suit and tie and a dress as we did, you can dress casually but elegantly. We saw many people wearing clothes we'd reserve for visits to a coffee shop.
One of about 10 highly restaurants we visited during a recent trip to San Francisco, we really liked Fleur de Lys, but did not love it.
We took the 5 course option so we could try more dishes. The food was uneven, from divine to just ok. For example, I tried the signature Foie Gras Baekeoffe, I didn't like the Baekeoffe part at all, but the tiny foie gras burger that accompanied it was sublime. My husband's Dungeness Crab salad was a bit bland.
The wine pairings were very good but they kept bringing refills. Probably most people would not complain about this, but I found it to be a bit too much. I had to leave a lot in the glass if I wanted to walk out without assistance, so it was a waste of good wine. Courses were on the large side for a tasting as well.
The room is lovely and the staff couldn't be nicer or more accommodating. Plenty of space between tables and a reasonable noise level.
It's not the first place we'd return to in SF, but we're glad to have tried it.
Quince is drop dead gorgeous, sleek and romantic. Service was personable and efficient. The food is very good, but overpriced, which detracted from the experience.
We tried the tasting menu, and most courses were well-prepared and tasty, some better than others, but there were so many items that carried a hefty surcharge that the overall cost was much higher than you would expect for a meal of similar quality.
We enjoyed the meal, but expect better at this price point. By comparison, we had tasting menus at both Michael Mina and Acquerello during the same visit to SF that pleased our palates far more yet cost less.
We were thoroughly delighted with our dinner at Acquerello on our recent visit to San Francisco. We tried about 10 highly rated restaurants and this was our second favorite.
We had the tasting menu so we could try a lot of dishes and felt that it was a good value for the quality and quantity of the food. Each course was outstanding and the wine pairings were well chosen.
Service was on the formal side but charming and not at all pretentious, just the right amount of solicitous care without being intrusive - perfect.
The room felt a bit dated, and might improve with an update, but it was still lovely. Lots of space between tables to encourage private conversation and a reasonable noise level.
Don't miss the chance to dine here!
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New York, NY, Vereinigte StaatenYelper seit
März 2011Dinge, die ich mag
my husband, travel, dance, theater, art, fine crafts, music, food, wine, exploring other cultures, archaeology, nature and wildlife, scuba diving, trains, small plane flights, my iPad, reading, writingMein Blog oder meine Website Was ich zuletzt gelesen habe
Everything Beautiful Began After