OUR FOOD REVIEWS are often filled with snark and sass. As a reflection of our personalities, we do our best to stay true-to-form. This month is going to be different. It is difficult to be sarcastic about an experience like we had at Martini Modern Italian.
The greeter welcomed us to the back dining area where it wasn’t as loud and busy. We were very happy about this. As you will find, Martini isn’t a cheap restaurant. We wanted to be able to relax and enjoy this experience as much as possible.
April introduced herself as our server. We knew the moment she spoke that we were going to have top-tier service. She was as professional as we have ever encountered and she knew absolutely everything about the menu. She didn’t come off as arrogant, as many servers can when they are serving that caliber of food. She was real. She was funny. She was fun. The way she described the special made Taste Bud Mike want to get it. It was seafood. Mike doesn’t eat seafood. Pan seared scallops? EWW! But she had him drooling, almost literally.
Alas, we each started with a cocktail: a Dark Cherry Manhattan for Mike and an Italian Grapefruit Gimletfor Craig. These drinks were crafted with love and skill. Manhattans are so difficult to get right, but this was flawless … both times. And likewise, there was perfection in both of the Grapefruit Gimlets, made with Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka, Aperol, hand-squeezed grapefruit and lime.
Moving on, we each ordered Filet Mignon and Veal Milanese. Each came with a salad. One salad was comprised of fresh greens, pine nuts, house-made dressing, blue cheese crumbles and the most incredibly perfect tomatoes one could imagine. The other salad was your basic Caesar, but it definitely didn’t taste “basic.”
As we were finishing our salads, April came back to let us know that the filet was finishing and gave us the option of bringing it out then or allowing it to rest before final presentation. We chose to let it rest. Normally, a medium rare steak left to rest would chill too much for our liking. Somehow, they flawlessly did so. The steak was the perfect temperature and you could have used the handle end of a plastic butter knife to cut through it. There is a reason this was voted the best steak in the city. Topped off with Cambozolo Butter and lying in a Chianti Wine Reduction, this piece of meat was perfect.
The veal was very lightly breaded. The flavor of the meat itself needed no frills to make it delicious. The sauce that graced the plate was tart, full and in perfect quantity. On a bed of fresh (locally purchased) pasta, the only thing wrong with the veal was that it wasn’t another Filet Mignon.
We capped the evening off by splitting a Tiramisu made in-house by the pastry chef. In the form of a coffee cup, what would normally be the “ceramic” was divine chocolate. The presentation of the dessert made it almost too pretty to eat. But for you, we did.
Taking this stroll through food perfection was enough to make us want to go back and visit again and again. When you go, ask for April. She truly is an asset to the restaurant and a very nice complement to a phenomenal meal. Every restaurant should be so lucky to have an April on staff.
We give Martini an overly animated four thumbs up. There is absolutely nothing we would change about our dining experience.