Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Il Giglio

After NCAA basketball season and holidays, Gramercy Guy and I were long overdue for a date night. 

We started with a drink at the Bubble Lounge. I had the Bubble Belini which had the perfect peach to champagne ratio. Gramercy Guy enjoyed his Lychee Martini, it was light and refreshing. I used to go to the Bubble Lounge on a very frequent basis when I first moved into the city. While it was early in the evening, and not yet crowded, it still had that great vibe of low lighting and great music. Too bad it took me too long to get dressed; I would have loved to stay for another drink.

We left Bubble Lounge and headed to Il Giglio, which years ago was semi related to Il Mulino (a favorite of Gramercy Girl & Guy). Talking with our waiter, Franklin, we learned they are no longer related, but the former head chef from Il Mulino now owns Il Giglio.

We had a 7:30 reservation and expected to have to wait a bit, but we were seated right away, as they had more open tables than taken. Looking around, it was set up very similar to Il Mulino, but they had a recent paint job where it looks like Il Mulino hasn’t had a makeover since the early 80’s (that’s one of its many charms).  I don’t want this to be a side by side comparison of Il Giglio and Il Mulino, but it’s hard for it not to be. 

First comes the offer of cocktails and water while servers are bringing fresh bruschetta, pieces of cheese, salami, fried marinated zucchini and a bread basket. Which were all good, the zucchini had a great spiciness to it, but was a bit oily. Then comes the menus and wine lists.  We listened to the specials and ordered right from there, didn’t even open the menu. 

Appetizer was a trio of pastas: parpadelle in pesto, shitake mushroom ravioli in a truffle cream sauce and spaghetti with a chunky tomato marina. They were delicious; I had to have bread to make sure there was no sauce left on my plate. 

Langoustines with spinach in a garlic cognac sauce. I really liked the presentation of the 1/2 langoustine in the shell. 

Rack of lamb in a Barolo sauce with potatoes and garlic string beans. These were tasty but really small.

Unfortunately, Gramercy Guy had a plastic piece in his. I think it was the ring from a water bottle. Franklin was very apologetic and provided free dessert. We went with the fresh berries and zabaglione and house made blueberry grappa. I don't like grappa of any flavor, I have learned as I try new flavors.

All in all, I thought Il Giglio  just very ok. The service was exceptional but everything else wasn't life changing and in a city with so many high end Italian restaurants, I will be going elsewhere. 

Have you been to Il Giglio recently, what did you think?

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