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Carlos' Restaurant Review

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One of the few fine dining restaurants open on Sunday, Carlos scored very well on both Zagat and Gayot, but something about the menu always put me off, it just looked a bit too simple for the lofty reviews it received. However lacking any other option, I decided to try the restaurant on my last visit.

One thing I did like is like is the trio of tasting menus because more courses is always a plus for me. I ordered the meat and game menu and my girlfriend went with the seafood and fish.

01: Grilled California Squab Breast: This was like a squab on top of a quiche. I actually felt there was a bit too much going on in this dish with the buttery tart and earthy mushrooms moderating the natural flavor of the squab.
02: Pan Seared Duck and Duck Confit with Hudson Valley Foie Gras: This dish was a bit overcooked, the foie gras had a bitter burnt taste and that carried over to the duck. Another very heavy dish with the foie gras and duck confit.
03: Grilled Lamb Chop with Ox-Tail Ravioli: A very nice lamb chop tender and full flavored with the slightest bit of gaminess. The oxtail ravioli had an entirely different feel very fatty and heavy, the slow cooked meat almost melts in your mouth.
04: Cocoa Crusted New Zealand Venison This was my second time having venison and cocoa in as many days and I am sad to say it wasn't any better than the first.
05: Grilled Ribeye
A fairly disappointing Ribeye, extremely lean and tough almost like a New York steak. The sides sides were fairly typical and the sauce masked the natural taste of the meat.
06: Symphony of Dessert A fairly plain trio of desserts although tasty enough. There was a small creme brulee, chocolate tuiles with mint filling, and some sort of chocolate cake.

Overall I felt the food was solid, if a bit uninspired for a restaurant in the company of giants like: Alinea, Charlie Trotter, and Tru. I get the feeling the restaurant had a loyal following that are swayed by the charismatic host/owner, Carlos and are willing to forgive a few missteps with the food.

For a full review with the seafood menu and photos: http://tangbro1.blogspot.com/2008/05/...

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