Main courses, particularly the pan-seared red snapper in a tomato-leek butter, are substantial ventures in flavor. This fillet was quickly crisped, then embraced by the substantial sauce. The osso buco was a trifle disappointing A all bone and little shank. The tender veal was aromatic and juicy, however, and the saffron risotto accompaniment more than compensated. Other meat and poultry dishes sound enticing: I was tempted by the duck breast stuffed with spinach, roasted peppers, herbs, a port wine sauce, white beans, and red cabbage. But I've mouthed so much duck lately that I've begun to feel like a golden retriever.
In the end, it's the little touches that count. I chose the iced tea, flavored with a heady passionfruit, so at odds with the stern interior yet so in keeping with the patio wicker. My husband enjoyed the complete clearing of the table after each course, even down to the unused silverware. In fact, he found great humor in the moment when, after our waiter laid out new place settings for us, the busboy once again cleared them. "It wasn't too long ago that mall food meant eating a burger with our hands," he said. "How is it that we're on our third set of forks?