The Sardine Room
If it's later, and we're looking for a full dinner, many items beckon from a large, wide-ranging menu. Divided into raw bar, snacks, small and large plates, soups, salads, and sides, it manages to offer typical, comfort, trendy, bistro, and wild innovation all on one page, with a few specials thrown in. Despite the size and variety, much of what we've tasted has pleased us, and even after several visits, much remains to tempt us.
So what have we sampled? From the raw bar, besides the oysters, we've indulged in the steak tartare--pristine, hand-chopped beef wonderfully seasoned with Parmesan and olive oil and topped with a raw quail egg. Of the snacks, a sweetbread canape was neither as flavorful nor as soft and yielding as we might have hoped, but a foie gras crepe, decorated with crispy chicken skin and pear mostarda-bacon vinaigrette, surprised us with its divergent flavors and textures. Next time, we'll try their namesake, Portuguese sardines with brown butter and capers.
Moving on to the small plates, linguine with chorizo, clams, and black garlic was tasty if not exceptional, but pan-roasted sea bass resting on green lentils and turnips was exceptionally tasty. So many more small plates entice--scallops with pork belly confit, gnocchi with arugula, frog legs, a rabbit dumpling--that to sample them all we may have to forsake the bar and assemble a group of friends in the dining room.