As it turned out, an adjusted call gave last night's game to Ohio State. Boo!! In the meantime, I took a nap and the gals and I headed out to dinner. We had reservations at an Italian restaurant that received very positive reviews on Yelp. It's true that the revolting cover photo for Vivere looked like a mound of pale stomach lining, but I chalked that up to shitty user photos that the restaurant hadn't vetted.
However, as our cab pulled up, I heard cheesy Italian music blaring from outdoor speakers and realized with a horrid sinking feeling that when "Italian Village" (rather than Vivere itself) called to confirm our res, they weren't joking.
The Italian village is this hokier-than-hokey three floor ode to Italo-American dining. Each floor boasts a different culinary experience. Laminated menus with bad photos were mounted to the left of the door, a giant fleur de lis hung from the awning, and as I peered inside and saw what looked like escalators leading you up or down to your destination, I simply couldn't go in. I looked at my friend, Trina, and said something to the effect of "we can't go in there", and she nodded her head with emphasis -NO!- and I called and cancelled the res.
I am aware that this may sound very foodie-snob, but this joint was like Olive Garden meets Disney World, and thus could not be our last supper!
Fortunately, we also had a later res at GT Fish and Oyster, and for this I will remain infinitely grateful to friend Steph for days to come. Back in a cab, to GT and to the bar for apps while we waited for our table.
GT is an aesthetically hip and appealing restaurant. All glass and white and clean lines and perfectly dim lighting and candles. Cocktail casual, a great-looking menu and a sleek bar. Trina and I split a cold plate of fresh oysters and everyone indulged in a fantastic shrimp bruschetta which included avocado purée, grapefruit, lightly seasoned shrimp, toasted pistachios and slivered serranos. Wonderful! And they pronounced bruschetta correctly, god bless 'em.
Table ready, we then moved: a perfect spot in the corner where the two glass walls met; you almost felt like you were sitting outside. It was a high table with bar chairs, and over it hung a cool, black, maritime-inspired chandelier.
I ordered a second glass of the marvelous Washington-state Syrah I was loving, and we ordered eight dishes to share (they were small plates, peeps). The grilled Caesar salad was awful, fishy and icky and just not good. But from there on out, I thought GT was great: octopus (which had been confited and them lightly pan-fried) with cauliflower, seaweed salad, pear and miso aioli; green tea soba noodles with shrimp, tofu, bok choy, thai chili soy vinaigrette; eggplant with hoisin, miso and cashews; oyster po'boy sliders with kimchi and peanuts; lobster and english pea mac and cheese; and snapper ceviche with lime, thai bird chili, roasted corn tea, cilantro and corn nuts.
And for dessert, we had an off the hook sublime salted caramel tart with bananas!!
The service was terrific too: knowledgable, friendly and wonderfully accommodating! I'd definitely recommend trying GT.