Jim's birthday dinner - Gallileo III
UPDATE: Galileo III closed September 2011
For Jim's birthday, we chose Galileo III. We had been given a very generous gift certificate to Galileo as a thank you for taking the wedding picture for our friends Ted and Bruce's wedding and decided to use it for Jim's birthday dinner. And not just any dinner but the 12+ course Chef's Choice Tasting Menu. You heard me right boys and girls, 12 courses. Plus dessert. *
*actual number of courses we were served was 10 - see my follow up at the end of this post.
We got to the restaurant about 30 minutes before our reservation and paid a visit to the bar and pestered Chris the bar manager. We each ordered a cocktail and a short time later, were treated to a small plate of the thinnest sliced Mortadella ever and some warm bread. It was heavenly. With drinks and our pre-dinner treat behind us, we were seated at our table to begin our dining extravaganza.
With help from Chris and our server, we selected a nice bottle each of white and red wine to go with the meal.
Then the courses began.
Burrata: Imported Burrata cheese over roasted peppers marinated with capers, garlic, Sicilian olive oil.Second Course:
Tonno delle Isolelle Isole: Salad of Fregola, chopped tuna, smoked, bottarga of tuna, curly endive, blood orange dressing.Third Course:
Bagna Cauda: Flan Duo of warm red peppers and Jerusalem artichokes in a Bagna Cauda (anchovy garlic) sauceFourth Course:
Budino di Parmigiano: Parmigiano Reggiano cheese pudding top with a layer of Burrata cheese, cream of porcini mushrooms, sliced black truffle. (Ours were missing the black truffle) Fifth Course:
Raviolini del Plin: Small “pinched” ravioli filled with beef, veal and chicken. Served in a sauce of veal jus, butter and sage.Sixth Course:
Tortelloni: Tortelloni filled with red beets in a chive cream sauce with poppy seeds.Seventh Course:
Butternut Squash Ravioli: Ravioli stuffed with butternut squash. Topped with crushed ameretti cookies and a butter sage sauce.Eighth Course:
AnatraFettuccine all”Anatra: Spinach fettuccine with duck meat stewed in tomato and vegetables.Ninth Course:
Capesante: Sauteed sea scallops atop yellow & black polenta, sautéed lobster mushrooms, cream sauce.Tenth Course:
Coniglio: Roasted loin of rabbit served over braised legs with pancetta in a sauce “alla Ligure” of stewed celery, onions, olives and walnuts.
Barbara had Crostata di Mele. Apple crostata, honey-roasted pecans, caramel gelato, apple jelly.Jim had Torta All’ Olio D’Oliva. Olive oil cake blood orange sauce, mascarpone sorbetto, crispy pine nuts, vanilla poached fennel.And some lovely coffee
The food was in a word, fabulous! Jim's favorites was the artichoke flan. The delicate texture and flavors were wonderful. My favorite was the budino. I called it sex in a spoon (Jim said I'm not that limber). We would easily order any of the 10 dishes again. In fact, some we had already eaten on two previous visits.
And Chris, Bar Manager extraordinaire, was terrific as always. Thank you Chris!
As good as the food was, we felt the dining experience could have been better. The tab for this meal was $360 meal (before tax and tip). This was the Chef's Choice Tasting Menu which we said we would be ordering when we made our reservations. It's not like they weren't aware what we would be ordering.
Issue 1: You'd think they would have seated us closer to the open kitchen but no, we were in the farthest corner behind a wall from the kitchen between two service stations.
Issue 2: The online menu says the Chef's Choice is 12 plus courses plus desert. Trust me, we were very full after 10 courses but I can imagine there are folks out there that would argue this with the server and either say to bring two more courses or lower the price of the meal. There needs to be consistency with what you advertise and what you actually offer.
Issue 3: Where was the chef? Even if it wasn't Chef Donna in the kitchen, you'd think the who ever was in charge of the kitchen would have made at least one appearance just to ask if we had any questions or to see how things were going. Just sayin'
We'd still say that the food is worth a visit. But to get a better bang for you buck, each person at the table should order the 3 or 4 course meal + dessert and have everyone get different items. You'll be able to get to choose what you want and have slightly larger portions which lends itself to sharing and swapping bites.