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Forte vs. Nota Benne for a special meal?

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I have a foodie client coming to town and I would like to impress her - money is no object. I have been to Nota Benne and I like it, but I would love to use this occasion as an excuse to sample Forte. Any opinions on which is better for food - the rooms and wine are fine in both, and I believe the service is great at both - but FOOD?

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  1. is there really any comparison?? nota bene wins hands down!

    1. Haven't any clue about the food at Forte in relation to Nota Bene, but the latter is rather noisy in my opinion - how anxious are you to hear your client?

      1 Reply
      1. re: morefoodplz

        I've never been at Nota Bene when it was totally packed, and have taken clients to both lunch and dinner - the noise level was fine - and I HATE places where everyone at the table has to shout - seems to be contrary to the whole idea of a nice dining experience let alone a "fine" dining" experience.
        I have never been to Forte but on paper it seems like a good alternative to NB? Locachef - why do you say NB "wins hands down"?

      2. Last time I was at Forte (a few months ago, to be fair), the food was uneven. The good - french soup dumplings (really delicious) and braised meats (deconstructed coq au vin and the short ribs were both great). But the duck was tough, lamb was boring and appetizers were hit and miss (raclette was absolutely impossible to eat). Pastry was beautiful but not very tasty (style over substance). Service was excellent, notably the wine service. I really hope they've cleaned it up since they haven't been open that long, but if you really want to knock it out of the park with food I can't wholly endorse. I actually think Nota Bene is over-rated, but I'd definitely pick it over Forte for this occasion.

        1. If you take her to Forte you may be the only ones there!
          I tried it a few weeks ago (on a Friday evening) and there were only two tables occupied (including us). Food was good but not exceptional.
          Obviously Nota Bene is a lot more successful - but check whether there's anything on at the Opera House that evening and, if so, go later to Nota Bene.

          1. There's one simple rule when inviting guests to your home for a dinner party. That is not the time to try out a new recipe. As you know and enjoy Nota Bene, take your client there. You can act as their knowledgeable guide.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Googs

              Yes, when I was young and foolish I invited new friends over for dinner and tried a new recipe, in new cookware in an oven I hadn't used before..... total disaster!!
              I took my client to Nota Bene and she loved everything except the fierce chill of the AC - we took turns going to the bathroom where it's warm! But I will try Forte one of these days - I like the menu and the room looks so nice.

            2. I've only been to Forte for dinner once and to Nota Bene for dinner once, but I liked my meal at Forte much better. Found the food tasted better, but maybe I ordered better. Our server at Forte was a little more courteous than the team of servers working our table at Nota Bene.

              The tables are spaced further apart at Forte, and there is less of a crowd (as estufarian mentioned in his reply), so Forte might be a better atmosphere for a client dinner, since it would be easier to converse. Nota Bene has a loud and bustling atmosphere, whereas Forte seemed serene the night I was there.

              I left Forte feeling like I'd probably return again, and left Nota Bene feeling like I had checked that one off on my list.