...gonna kick the darkness 'till it bleeds daylight... musings of a hungarian in texas

©2003 by Annamaria Kovacs. All contents of this blog are the property of the author. Use with written permission only.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Dinner at Cipriani's

That was lovely...Yesterday, as it was our 7th wedding anniversary, we decided to do more than our usual 'let's go and have sushi in our jeans' run, and we put on nicer clothes (that means slacks and collared shirt for the Husband and a nice ankle-length summery flowery dress for me with pearls, nothing ultra-fancy) and get to Las Colinas for a 600pm dinner at Cafe Cipriani. It is a venerable North Italian restaurant, being here for as long as Las Colinas existed, which in DFW restaurant terms is quite significant (we have more restaurants per capita than New York, actually, and a lot of them tends to change hands and character rather often).
First Impessions: Cafe C has valet parking due to its location, and once entered, you need to take a shiny copper elevator down to the dining area, which is dimly lit, mostly by candles, has crisp white tablecloths, heavy dinnerware and some real flowers on the tables. Very understated.
Service: During our previous visit and this, our waiters were top notch. It is increasingly difficult to get real waiters these days, those who know and love their work, know and love the place, food, the wines, everything, and are able to convince you that you do, too. Waiters who are extremely courteous but not pushy, appear exactly when needed, don't push the special just because that's more expensive but because it's really special, and are proud of what they do. Needless to say, you tip these guys 20% or more, like we did, because you'd like to keep them in business.
Food: So...on to the food (after all, I promised to my lovely sister-in-law that I'll give a detailed account of what we ate..):-)
We got appetizers: mine was a fresh Mozzarella Caprese, with ripe red tomatoes, flavorful olive oil and finely chopped basil. It was good. The Husband's appetizer, however, totally overshadowed it. If you go the Cafe C, get the Frutti Di Mare. Please do. Lovely plump mussels, shrimp, calamari and other seamonsters in an out-of-this world light garlicky vermouth sauce with bits of fresh tomatoes, steaming hot. The sauce is enough that you can mop it up with the crisp Italian sourdough bread they put in front of you as soon as you get settled in.
The Husband won the main course round as well--at our waiter's advice, he chose one of the specials of the day, the Chicken Val'd'Aosta--this was chicken breast stuffed with really good prosciutto slices and mozzarella, sauteed until juicy and tender, and served with fettucine with roasted garlic bits and red pepper, in a light cream sauce. The harmony of those flavors was only slightly marred by the fact that the pasta got a bit tough due to sitting on an extremely hot serving plate.
My veal with forest mushrooms entree had suffered from the same too hot plate problem around the edges a bit, but the sauce with red wine and different kinds of wild mushrooms was tangy and flavorful, the side of haricots verts, red pepper strips and oven-roasted new potatoes was well-flavored and not overcooked.
After all this, we still had room for dessert: I pre-ordered at the beginning of the meal the chocolate souffle that they are quasi-famous for, as it takes time to prepare and has to be absolutely on time. The Husband chose from the dessert tray a rum-pecan cream cake with vanilla sauce. His cake was not too sweet, light but a perfect finish after the chicken dish he chose. My souffle...ah, well, it was a chocolate tower, light and airy, that the waiter cut into tableside, and poured a light and strong chocolate sauce flavored with chocolate liqueur. It really was rather out of this world; I am not sure which one of us won this round as I am heavily biased toward anything chocolate-y and thus, frankly, unable to make an objective call here. We finished with two good cappucinos-unfortunately, since I roast my own beans fresh at home, I just cannot really enjoy restaurant coffee any more, but for what they were, they were decent, freshly brewed drinks, with good solid foam on top.

All in all: this is really a memorable experience and one that, while not exactly cheap, will not necessary break the bank. If you need a very quiet evening where you can sit by candlelight and talk while enjoying a leasurely meal without really worrying about the right side of the menu, do give Cafe Cipriani a try.



At 11:17 AM, Blogger Madeleine said...

Sounds wonderful - James and I would definitely like to go there at some point...
The Chicken Val'd'Aosta sounds especially yummers :-)

At 11:20 AM, Blogger Annamaria said...

Yep, it was something special...:-)


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