In early March, chef Scott Gottlich and his wife/sommelier, Gina, refashioned their upscale restaurant into a bistro. I’m not sure what dictionary they referred to when they decided to tag the tony dining room as a bistro, but the reality is the food, interior, and prices are still more fancy than moderate. “I don’t care. I love this place,” my not-so-fancy friend said after devouring an intensely flavorful and rich cup of corn chowder and a generous plate of slow-braised veal cheeks. Her husband, a real food snob, was equally enthusiastic about his choices. “I have 80 recipes for corn soup,” he bragged. “And I can’t make one like this.” So we sat for hours talking about fine food while we enjoyed delicate fettuccine scrambled around littleneck clams and torn bits of chervil. There was barely a hint of oil. The shallow white bowl looked as if it had just been removed from the dishwasher when we finished. My duck schnitzel, served with a chunky potato salad tossed in whole grain dark mustard, was our least favorite dish, but Scott’s take on the German staple would be a winner on any other menu in town. Gina was unfortunately not in the dining room, and the gentleman left to pair wines lacked confidence. He couldn’t choose a suitable bottle and selected wines by the glass. The tables are covered with white butcher block paper, which I find offensive when paying $30 for an entrée. And it would be nice to see the chef make the rounds. Scott was either in the kitchen or standing beside a table of what appeared to be regular customers all evening. Even my not-so-fancy friend agreed. “I’ll come back here again,” she said. “It would be nice to meet the chef.”
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