TW Food or Clio?
Never been to either -- which would you recommend for an upcoming anniversary dinner?
i'd say Clio.
and that's only because Clio has consistently impressed me throughout the years.
i've been to TW once and that was close to their opening and it lacked a Wow-Factor.
These are very different restaurants, but both are great.
I would go to Clio if you are looking for the more "traditional" high-end restaurant experience but a more trendy style of food (lots of new cuisine stuff like foams and powders). Everything including the service is very sophisticated and put together well, and there's a pretty solid wine list.
TW Food is more of an intimate personal experience. The food is all locally sourced and French inspired, but interesting in its own way. The wine list reflects this, too, with biodynamic wines and more unusual choices. People have much more of a mixed opinion of the food, but personally I loved it as much if not more than I loved Clio.
It really depends on what you are looking for, but I don't think you can go wrong. My guess is that the majority of responses will be votes for Clio, but if you like smaller restaurants where you know the chef owner is in the back personally finishing off your food, TW might be the way to go.
Not quite apples and oranges, but maybe Anjou pears and Bartlett pears. Honestly, although there are elements I like at each restaurant, I can't call myself a tremendous fan of either.
Clio - refined, often edgy food, Asian influences supported by very strong French technique. A handsome room that does feel a bit like the hotel restaurant it is. This would be the more expensive of your two choices by a significant margin.
TW Food - a neighborhood restaurant for a very pricey neighborhood. The food would probably be best classified as New American, a more expensive take on the Ten Tables concept (a place where the eponymous TW did some time). I feel like the food here swings for the fences, yielding a few home runs, plenty of wall ball doubles, and more than its fair share of long pop-outs and strikeouts, . A bit more intimate, and much more casual in atmosphere than Clio. I find it to be relatively poor value, but by no means unpleasant.
Along these same lines, have you considered Craigie Street Bistrot? I think they are still located in the original location. I've always celebrated my anniversary dinners here and have both wonderful food and incredibly gracious service. They usually try and do something special, one year, it was a glass of champagne, another, dessert. This year, they gave us cards because we ate at their Funky Fresh Local Dinner event.
My experiences at Clio outshine those at TW, but I wouldn't recommend either. I had an anniversary dinner at TW and we felt very exposed to everyone else around us. It wasn't that big a deal, but we had hoped for a bit more intimacy. And the food seemed like the chef was trying too hard. At Clio the room and service are nice, but my food has generally been cool, salty and small. How about the new l'Espalier? Or Salts?
Just celebrated a birthday at Salts and it was very very good but not as good as I remembered. Half bottle of wine, one glass of champagne, 2 first courses and 2 mains, no dessert and the check with tip was $175.
Two nearby tables were given "something special" at the end of the meal (we did get a wonderful soup "from the kitchen") and that sort of rankled. IMHO, not good practice in a room that small, to treat one table better than another, particularly at the end of the evening when there are only 4-5 occupied tables so everything is more or less out in the open.