Ivy Friday Night
I had dinner this past Friday at Ivy with three friends. Even though Ivy is a small-plate concept that suggests sharing, my DCs weren't into sharing, but I managed to snag at least one bite of everything ordered.
* Seared Scallops with Potato-Prosciutto "Risotto" was delicious, perfectly seared scallops and great fake risotto (tiny diced potatoes in a risotto-like sauce); the 2nd order though had much smaller scallops.
* The Arancini with Fontina and Black Truffle were disappointing, not very flavorful except for the truffle-flavored cream sauce.
* Gnocchi with Duck Ragu had a too-sweet sauce, even with goat cheese to cut the sugar, but was still good.
* Chicken Piccata was nice and lemony, with tons of capers but no caper flavor. How does that work?
* Ivy House Salad was a very large portion, easily gave each of us a small/medium serving; nicely (lightly) dressed, delicious goat cheese crouton.
* I only had a tiny bite of the Carbonara with Sausage; I remember liking it quite well.
* Grilled Shrimp on Parmesan (?) Risotto was bland, should have gotten yet another scallop order.
Noise level on the ground floor by the bar was astronomical - we were shouting at each other to be heard. I enjoyed that all wines were $26, but it still hurts to pay $26 for something I just picked up at Trader Joe's for $5.99. Service was good - they brought the food in 2 "rounds," with more appetizer-type dishes first and "entrees" second.
Overall a pleasant place to go with non CH friends, but if the room was a tad quieter and the food a tad better tasting, I'd be there a lot more.
Later on the night I split the butcher block at Ivy with laura_jean - fig and cherry compote, honey, a couple of nice slices of sopressetta and prosciutto, completely flavorless salami, almonds, grilled crostini drizzled with balsamic vinegar, a warm goat cheese crouton, a perfectly fine Gorgonzola dolce, a nice chunk of Parmesan, and a piece of cheese that tasted like plastic. For $16 it wasn't too exciting, but like laura_jean, this seems to be a good place for a no-brainer dinner with friends that just don't care.
I actually thought the wine list had quite a few bottles that were priced quite nicely - for instance, many of those bottles retail around $18 - the Angeline Pinot Noir and the Montinore Pinot Gris - so I didn't find the mark up too terrible.
How did the sliders at Max&Dylan's turn out anyway?
Truffles have been off again this year -- especially white truffles.
Reports of "ghost truffles" (ie: you see them, but no discernible aroma or truffle mojo) at Prezza as well as very very faint truffle goodness at Marliave on the special pasta.
Most of the truffleness I've found lately comes from the oil, not freshly shaved tubers. Bah.