Because my reservation included ten other people, we had a set menu, which is never an accurate reflection of what a restaurant can accomplish. Our appetizer choices included an arugula salad, fresh burata with a pine nut pesto and caramelized onions, and two oversized meatballs redolent of fine short ribs. Both the burata and meatballs were fine and delicate dishes, worthy of any menu.
I skipped the swordfish option entirely and found myself among duck papparadelle and a medium-rare lamb loin instead. The paparadelle was toothy and satisfying, if a little rich for mid-May. I missed the possibilities brought forth with spring's vegetable bounty. The lamb came closer to what one might expect from a spring menu, but the fava beans at the plate's top arrived undercooked and underseasoned. The lamb itself--cooked to a cool center--was surprisingly tough and gamy. And the portions for a tasting menu were far too large to be considered appropriate.
But dessert brought spring to the table in full force, a delicate and complex napoleon of strawberries and rhubarb and minted cream. I would have ordered it again and definitely would have chosen it over the yodel-like chocolate cake and stracciatella ice cream. I found myself underwhelmed at meal's end, possibly a testament to the limitations of a set menu.
45 East 22nd Street
New York, NY 10010