Still looking for places that will make my mother happy (to dream the impossible dream...). All the ladies in her building like Chef Geoff's so she wants to go there and we decided for Mother's Day, we'll take her anyplace she wants to go. But this weekend, we are taking her and another elderly lady out and that adds a layer of complexity in terms of where the other elderly lady will consent to go (she'd prefer to stay near home) and parking (my mother can't walk very far). So I'd thought about Ardeo which has valet but is not really their cup of tea. Then I thought about Lia's, which has an Italianish menu, mostly fairly heavy food, a certain amount of thoughtfulness and creativity.
Anyone been to either Lia's or the Chef Geoff's in AU Park? I couldn't find anything except a couple of brief mentions in 2006.
Elderly people with walking problems = no way could they handle the steps at Tabard Inn. Palena - parking issue. I didn't think of Persimmon.
As it turns out, Lia's wasn't bad. They are trying - perhaps a little too hard. The service was slightly too friendly. They need to dial it back about 10%. Same with the menu - just way too many choices. They need to reduce the quantity and up the quality. It wasn't bad, just could have been better and I suspect if they had fewer dishes, they could concentrate on giving each of them just a bit more attention. It is almost as though the chef has never tasted the dishes. A little tweaking and these dishes would be terrific. Mother had scallops (good) with GREAT fresh peas and pea puree. Friend had mussels marinara. Way too much garlic. Mussels were huge and fresh. Husband and I split a squid ink pasta with clams. Meh. The pasta was grainy. I also had a radicchio salad with poached pear and sweet gorgonzola. Quite tasty but too much of it and it was drowning in dressing. Husband had beet and blood orange salad. Good but unbalanced - too much beet, not enough blood orange.
The noise level is way off the charts. For that reason alone, I would not go back there.
I can't recommend CG's, but since "Lewes" visited Lia's, they've hired a real chef with pedigree to run Lia's - Cesare Lanfranconi previously of Tosca and Galileo. Should be a safe bet to both make your mom and your stomach happy.