Posted by eemilla on March 20, 2009
Earlier this week we went by Rezaz to check out the menu updates (although neither of us ordered from the tasting menu). The primary color paintings I recall from when they first opened are still hanging on the walls, but they have also partitioned off more areas to create space from the hectic energy of the door and host stand as well as the corridor between the kitchen, end of the bar, and the Enoteca. They have silvery bead curtains employed in the sectioning off, and I couldn’t decide if I liked them. The interior was cozy with the low lighting, but it was quite sad to see the back half of the restaurant darkened and curtained off, but they are probably just trying to reduce their carbon footprint, right? We arrived earlier than our reservation, which was certainly not needed for their slow Tuesday, although we saw a few tables come in after 8:30 or so.
The menu is divided into soups/salads, small, big, and bigger with the big and bigger sections containing items that could be ordered as either a full order or half order. I recognized the caesar salad, arugula salad, butternut squash ravioli, and of course the spiced lump crab cake from past years’ menus, but with the additional smaller plates there were enough vegetarian options to keep me happy. The pre-order bread is the only thing that I don’t mind not changing, although the fruited loaf was less fruity than I recall. I ordered the arugula salad because I am a sucker for pears, good cheese, and arugula, and my husband went with his first favorite, the crab cake. As is our standard, we traded half way through, but with one bite we both agreed what we had ordered was better than what the other had ordered. While the awesome tomato jam is still with the crab cake, the crab that used to really shine was a bit hidden beneath the heavy breading and delicious jam. My salad was made nicely, with a good smattering of goat cheese and balsamic vinegar reduction over the tender arugula, and the poached pears were perfectly sweet and spiced. For his entree he went with the sea scallops and lemony risotto, and I went with the cremini rotolo. Craving risotto as he does, he wanted more, but he said it was a wonderfully lemony and creamy accompaniment to the four diver scallops; he also enjoyed the green beans, but I don’t recall how he described them. My entree was a bit boring, but I guess that is what I should except ordering a ricotta and cremini pasta dish. The portion was filling, and again the tomato sauce was great. The spinach was cooked just enough to make it was brilliant green and warm. The highlight was the chocolate ganache torte with red wine reduction and cranberry sorbet. The reduction and the torte were a lovely pairing, and I loved the color and texture of the sorbet; however, it was a bit over tart even with the richness of the torte. I thought about the tiramisu, but after being spoiled by La Caterina Trattoria I didn’t want to venture down that path. I also thought a bit over the pots de creme and the creme brulee, but neither exactly fit the bill. I do venture sometimes away from chocolate, but not often (usually only for crepes Suzette or my aunt’s pound cakes).
My honey was the designated driver so I had all the drinking fun. I decided to have a moderate two drinks; one being a glass of scotch (I guess this probably should not have been imbibed with a meal to be properly enjoyed, but I did take it neat), and one glass of maderia with dessert. Scotch ordering is reserved for restaurants because I don’t have to pay fifty plus for one fifth of liquor, and as such I don’t really know what I like. The only single malt options were Glenlivet and Macallan, and I ordered the Glenlivet because it was a name I recognized. When the bill arrived I was charged for the Macallan, but my server assured me I had consumed Glenlivet (and corrected the bill by three dollars). I ordered the maderia because I have never noticed it before, and I like port. I was pleased with the maderia, but my first whiff reminded me of cooking sherry. I would have ordered a yummy Gran Marnier, but I really couldn’t stomach the ten dollar price tag (plus I am not certain it would have tasted a good as the maderia with the torte and the red wine reduction).
Overall, we were both pleased with the service (overall good but overbearing right after we were sat and absence when we wanted the check; the buser kept our waters full and the table cleared of used dishes), atmosphere, food, and its presentation. The menu tops out at $20 with plenty of options well below that, and I apologize for not paying attention to the wine list. We will certainly be back, and hopefully next time the bus driver will be our designated driver.