The Warwick Melrose Hotel is a sure bet for romance on a Saturday night—a renovated, historic hotel dating back to the 1920s, a swank piano bar off the lobby, and a solid kitchen run by seasoned chef Jeff Moschetti. Not much could ruin it—except, of course, noxious paint fumes. Alas! We were determined not to let a few volatile organic compounds interfere with our falling in love with the Landmark all over again.

The courtship began with our cordial server, who could rattle off the ingredients and preparation of each dish as if she were behind the line herself. Her first recommendation was the foie gras parfait: a light, airy foie gras mousse provided the foundation for a layer of balsamic shredded boar topped with frothy creamed sherry. For the salad course, we kept it simple: Caprese comprising locally grown tomatoes and Paula’s mozzarella, all in a stack and topped with glistening crystals of sea salt. Equally fresh were skinned asparagus with mache lettuce (a substitute that night for arugula), yellow and red grape tomatoes, and shaved Parmesan tossed with “really good” olive oil. Mains were more tricked out, including salmon baked in a little cedar box with a mound of saffron basmati rice and more perfectly seasoned asparagus, skillfully sliced and packed into a square. Fennel-crusted rack of lamb arrived pretty and pink, with fat fava beans and balsamic-soaked cippollini onions. If we had to do it all over again, we would have skipped the cupcake and peach galette and gone straight to the complimentary truffles—one dark chocolate with raspberry, the other milk chocolate, though flavors change weekly—to accompany our last sips of Cain Cuvée.

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