To every appearance, an independent, free-standing, "real" restaurant that garnered a "23" from Zagats. A good wine list successfully attempts that delicate balance between pricepoint and quality in this case with the emphasis on price - all available as glass pours. Cousins Barry and Susan, preferring relatively sweet whites, ordered the Vouvray, but our waiter somehow got this mixed up with a dry Alsatian Gewurztraminer. When we told him we wanted the "Chenin Blanc" he got it. This French Chenin Blanc was clean, fresh, fruity and semi-sweet - a vast improvement over Vouvray of the past which usually had a dirty, oxidized taste. I tasted two Chards from California - both adequate and neither very interesting. The Volpolicella seemed too big and rustic, but the Vivier! Vivier! Tempranillo from Spain was great - big, full, flavorful.
and perfect with duck.
About the duck! It was tough, dried out, and semi - cold. When the excellent G.M. asked how our food was I said it was "good", not telling her that "good" was my lowest rating. Deborah Tannen lives! Even though I grew up in New York City, I spent enough time in the Midwest to develop a "High Considerate" style, whereas cousin Barry, despite his Midwest sojourn never shed the East Coast "High Involvement" style, so he said it was tough, dried out, and cold. Susan's salmon was too salty, Barry's creme brulee was too bland and creamy. The bottom line? A similacrum! A small corporate chain maquerading as the real thing. Not bad, but not good either and not what it purports to be. Give it a "19".