I had dinner there last night and it was a mostly positive experience. I was fearful that because the menu is composed of tasting plates, the food would be microscopic, but it was not. And if you're a foam fan, you won't be disappointed -- foam abounds. The menu offers a $55 tasting of 4 mains and 2 desserts, which I split with my friend. It turned out to be enough for us, but heartier eaters might want to order a couple of a la carte selections to go with it. We had the stone crab claw salad, the arctic char with apple gnocchi, the sea scallops with toasted vermicelli, and the hangar steak with gouda and shiitakes. The salad, three claws full of crab shreds, could have used a kick of lemon or pepper to jumpstart it. It was nice, but so delicate it barely registered. The apple gnocchi was probably the most interesting part of any of the dishes. It sounds like a pretty awful idea, but it tasted good, and it was very light. I thought the toasted vermicelli might be sort of like a pan fried noodle, and it seemed like it wanted to be, but it was oversauced and soggy. Still, the sherry vinaigrette that drowned it had a strong, pleasing flavor. One of our desserts, the beggar's purse filled with roasted pears, was great, rich pear mush wrapped in a big crispy crepe-like thing. Extremely upscale baby food, in a good way. We also had a hazelnut crisp, which was the only unforgivably miniscule item that came our way, so I won't describe it because it made me angry.
We arrived on the early side, around 7:15, and the restaurant was mostly empty except for a few other couples and a boisterous birthday party. By the time we left, the crowd had quadrupled and the boisterousness had escalated, to the point where it wasn't that pleasant to be there anymore. The service was exceedingly professional, well-paced, knowledgeable, and friendly. Now that I've tried most of the menu items that appeal to me, I'll probably wait until they introduce some new dishes before returning. But I'll be back.
I just went with a group of 10 to Core 191 last night for a birthday party and it left much to be desired. While the decor is very cozy and the restaurant is trendy looking, it is easy to spend a fortune here and still be hungry. All the menu items are very appealing but each one of the dishes can be consumed in four bites. Not only were the portions extremely small and overpriced, we brought in a birthday cake and were told that there would be a $3 cutting fee. Agreeing to this at the end of the meal they charged us $3 per person for the fee even though we were told $3 for the entire cake. When we disputed it they argued fiercely and after 30 minutes of arguing and talking to a useless manager they cut the fee in half which was still by far more than we were told by the wait staff.
As a bar I am sure it is fine, just do not go for more than drinks or you will be sorely disappointed.
Here is the eval I gave right after I wnet last month...
I cannot believe the posters on this board would ever mention this place as anything more than a generic bar that happens to serve small portions of average food. In fact I would not even consider the food average. Went there for dinner on Friday night and was completely dissapointed. The Calamari rings were so small I think a Cherrio is bigger. There was also such a thick fried coating that you had no idea if anything was even inside. In fact they may have deep fried a Cherrio and I would never have known.
We asked for a bottle of Pelegrino to which the waiter apologized for not having any bottled sparkling water but offered us a bottle of still Pelegrino instead. Does Pellegrino make still water? We didn't even want to find out.
The hanger steak was 4 individual bite size peices of meat with a mushroom and slice of Gouda on top. Nice flavor but quite small for $14. The squab was covered in so much foam you couls not even see what it was when it arrived. The foam completely overwhelmed the dish both visually and taste wise.
In the total we ordered 12 dishes between 4 of us, none were memorable and we all left hungry and dissapointed.
This place should neven be mentioned as a food destination, more like a bar that happens to serve overpriced small plates.