February 23rd, 2006 Seth Lorinczi | Food Reviews & Stories
 

Dish Review

     
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This popular Italianate cornerstone sprawls into several dining rooms, lending a pleasingly nostalgic feel, as though we're kids let loose in the vast Italian restaurant of our childhood. Perhaps recognizing this, chef John Eisenhart hits some familiar marks, particularly with standout pastas like capellini with garlic, chilies and tart cherry tomatoes, or broad chickpea-flour noodles with a heady lamb ragot. But elsewhere the food takes a more modernist stance: Halibut acqua pazza sheds its humble Neapolitan roots to morph into a flashyand delicioussculpture of fish in an intriguing spiced cucumber broth; rich roast duck comes garnished with both bitter treviso and salted plums. The effect is as impressive as it is satisfying. The after-dinner amenities are also noteworthy: highbrow single-malts, grappas and more, plus desserts like a reliably devastating tiramisu. (SL)
 
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