Monte Cristo - anyone tried it?
My wife and I ate there two weeks ago, after failing to get a same night reservation at Luce.
Here's how it went. We walked in at 6:30 on a Friday night and were the only people at the restaurant, which we did not take as a good sign(some people were at the bar). The place is beautiful - Urns, excellent stonework and ample room between tables.
For starters we had a seafood salad and mushroom soup. Both were ample and quite tasty. We thought that we could have split the seafood.
For main dishes my wife had an Alaskan Black Cod special ($30) and I had beef short ribs ($24). The cod was very good and was accompanied by crab mashed potatoes. The short ribs were good but not great, a bit short of the "melt in your mouth" tenderness required for a slow cooked dish like this. The sauce was also a bit underflavoured.
The wine list is extremely overpriced. I saw one California Cabernet that was listed for 5 times the consignment price. We ended up with an expensive glass each,(a Chianti for $12 and Piedmonte red (Barberra?) for $15)
About 7:30 a jazz combo started playing - the music was good.
Our bill without dessert and coffee, but with tax and tip, was $150. By the time we were leaving (about 8:15)only two other tables were occupied.
Our mutual impression was that Monte Cristo, while beautiful, is nothing special. For the prices charged, you can do much better.