So I went to Anise a week and a half ago...
Everything that's been said about this place is true. We did the nine course surf & turf (she had surf, I had turf) with wine pairings and I have to say that everything about our dinner experience was perfect. I'm not much a food writer, and the menu is on the site is accurate so I won't go in to specific detail, but three dishes really stood-out in my mind.
Once in a while you taste something that just stays with you and that happened a week ago wednesday. I can shut my eyes and still remeber the taste of the lamb seasoned with ras-el-hanout and the tomato preserve with rose water. That hasn't happened to me since a meal I had several years ago in NYC and I eat out quite often. The foie gras on venere rice with curry emulsion (called surf & turf anise on the menu), which also comes with a big scallop that my date took b/c I don't eat seafood, was also incredible I couldn't believe how well the foie gras and curry emulsion went together. The cheese dish was also a very pleasant surprise. I actually wasn't that excited about it until I tasted it. It was some type of goat cheese with an onion reduction. My god was it good though.
It's honestly the perfect place to take someone if you just want to enjoy a meal and talk. It's nice and quiet, the decor is great, and overall, the clientele seems to be of a maturity level that isn't necessarily seen at a lot of expensive restaurants that just cater to people with money, but not class. The focus at Anise is clearly on the food and the clientele. The waiters were very courteous, extremely efficient, and very stealthy. It happened a number of times that our water glasses got refilled and we both looked at each other and said "when did he refill our water glasses?" That's always a good sign. The timing between courses was also spot-on.
As an aside, the girl I was with felt horrible when she saw the bill (with tip a bit over 400), but I assured her that I considered it a perfect evening and that she shouldn't worry since I'm the one that forced it on her and I believed it to be worth every penny! I wasn't just trying to make her feel better either, it really was worth the price. We were there for four and a half hours btw, so if you're going to anise, I suggest arriving early so that you can really indulge.
Lastly, I don't think I'd do the wine pairing again. It really is a lot of wine to drink in one night. Pre-dinner cocktails aside, it included 5 glasses of wine. For the turf, that meant 2 white, 2 red, and dessert wine. My date was pretty hammered at the end of the night and I I woke-up at 3am with a queasy stomach. I should have known better because red does that to me, but I really wanted the full experience and everything Anise had to offer. Next time I think we'll go easy on the alcohol though ;p
Thanks for the great report rs91. I still remember the taste of Surf and Turf Anise and I ate it over 2 years ago. Cherish your memory. Anise will be missed.
My boyfriend and I really wanted to go there for our anniversary this week, but we decided we just can't afford it at this time. It's torturous knowing I'll never have the chance to go. Boo.