I point this out because it is indicative of the over and under nature of the restaurant. The owners went overboard buying some things that look "vintage." Then, they offer a pedestrian wine list of six whites and five reds: mostly domestic, all common. They've put bulky, old-looking tea candle lanterns on the diminutive tables, but explain that they can't get their lighting problems worked out. That is why you dine in near darkness after the sun goes down. The white tablecloths dangle over wall-to-wall blue office carpeting. The menu is hackneyed as well.
On one evening we selected from three appetizer choices. A spinach salad with blueberries, orange wedges and plum tomatoes ($5.95) was fresh and tasty. The other two choices were a portobello cap stuffed with crab and topped with melted fontina ($7.95) or mushroom caps stuffed with artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes and topped with Swiss cheese ($6.95). Why would you offer three appetizers and then have two that are nearly identical? The caps were overpowered by the vinegar flavor of the sun-dried tomatoes. The cap was so tough I could barely cut it with my knife. On a weekend, the app menu was extended by two selections. We chose a walnut-crusted brie with fruit sauce ($9.95). Our waitress came out later to explain that this "hadn't turned out" and the chef would make us something else. OK. We received two huge slabs of brie-stuffed pastry. It was enough cheese to feed a family of four. Overcompensation for underperformance like the chairs, it was distracting.
Of the four entrees we tried, only the filet mignon ($25.95) shone. It was a surprisingly good cut of beef, tender and flavorful. Served with a wild-mushroom butter, rice pilaf and sautéed vegetables, it was simple and balanced. The scallops and prawns that accompanied the capellini ($20.95) were overcooked and tough as nails. They were nearly hidden by a tall lump of pasta that was melded together and nearly as tough as the shellfish. The veal roulade and lightly breaded salmon entrees were passable but didn't have any subtle, contrasting flavors. Overall, the food seemed to lack the degree of attention that is being paid to make the restaurant look good.
Vintage is young. That paradox points to the main shortcoming of the restaurant. It is trying to look the part but lacks the maturity to deliver. The grandiose chairs can't hide the lack of refinement in the menu. In fact, they amplify its shortfalls. Given time, the restaurant may develop an appealing patina. But you can't buy age. Better to concentrate on good food and wine than elegantly styled decor. The rest will follow.
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