We had lunch today at an upscale Italian restaurant. This is a place that has been open for over a year and has received a fair amount of press. The buzz was very good last year and generally the food and service are thought to be very consistent and operating at a fairly high level. We were looking forward to this lunch and to seeing some new aspects of food, wine and service from a different perspective. The service was quite good. Our server was very friendly and knowledgeable without crossing boundaries and although there were minor service issues, they were instantly forgivable. The dining room was definitely a scene, formal and somewhat stodgy in feeling, although the lady and two children at the next table added a level of informality that we found entertaining...others may simply have been annoyed. Note to self, if we ever have children and bring them to restaurants we will make sure that they are properly attired. It may be all in my head but I think that if children are wearing formal attire they will usually behave accordingly, if you bring them into a restaurant in casual clothes they will probably also behave accordingly. Although the room seemed polished at first glance it did not stand up to scrutiny. There were many curtained panels along the walls creating a feeling of intimacy and light but they were frayed and stained in various places. After noticing the curtains, other details began to reveal themselves. Electrical outlets were chipped and faded looking and some of the silver was slightly twisted and bent. There was even a patch of ceiling panel that had broken and was twisted away from it's foundation. It was an effort but we re-focused on our menus. The wine list was fun, lots of interesting and well priced wines leaning slightly towards Italy but with a sprinkling of vineyards from around the world. The food was good, there were some interesting ideas behind the menu and we appreciated the chef's interpretations. There was olive oil on the table for the bread, it tasted like lemons and rosemary with a strong grassy finish. It was an interesting change of pace. Question: can someone please tell me if susci is a real word? It sounds like an Italian version of sushi, it looks and tastes much more like sashimi or crudo, as it is known as in Italy. Regardless, the yellow tail and lobster suscis that we tried were very fresh and tasty. The other dish of note was a slow roasted goat that was meltingly tender and sweet in a light sauce with slivers of artichoke and fingerling potatoes. I would go back for that dish. Although we wanted to try the pork belly off of the dinner menu, it was not available. Oddly, out of four savory courses, three were well seasoned, right on the edge of salty, and one course was totally bland. The desserts were a disaster, plain and simple. But in spite of the rough edges, we had a wonderful time. The service and company were extremely enjoyable , the Italian Cabernet Franc that we drank was surprisingly soft and barnyard-y, the check was reasonable and we left with the feeling of a few hours well spent.