The restaurant in question is convenient for lunch; has outdoor seating and parking near by. It's very on trend and popular. The Artistic One likes the decor and the young and attractive waitresses. I find it pretentious for a waiter, who has been asked to serve the starter before the entree, to accept the request and then serve everything at once, responding with "Oh, the kitchen just prepares everything when the order comes in". I understand that might be more lucrative for their time management but the place is not cheap and I found it annoying last time we ate there.
Some time has passed and I decided to set aside my reservations and try another lunch yesterday. The first special they described was poached pears in balsamic reduction. The second was Brussels Sprouts with a honey glaze. I didn't even translate those for TAO. They were non-starters (oops, pun).
The pizza menu is not a pizza menu, it's divided into "Red Pies" and "White Pies" and sausage and honey red pie did not appeal.
We found two items on the menu that were from our food planet. Arugula and beet salad with pine nuts and cheese as well as pork meatballs, supposedly with a special aioli that I didn't spot on the plate. They were very tasty, once we'd asked for salt and pepper, which were on none of the tables.
It was Friday and we ordered a glass of rose each that was very enjoyable, which was our downfall and led to ordering a dessert.
I can't imagine why we were so surprised that the delicious looking Mexican choclate bread pudding was coated with a crusty layer of sea salt!