New York – NYC restaurant week kicked off last week and luckily it’s closer to a month (July 20th-August 14th), because we’ve got a lot of eating to do! Scoring a last minute reservation, we decided to kick things off at Cipirani down on Wall Street. The poorly timed construction on William St. was disappointing. The palm tree studded balcony which overlooks Wall Street through its dramatic Greco Roman Columns is unquestionably, a BIG part of the restaurant’s allure! Given the perfect weather, we still resist, despite our hostess’s warnings, and we were far from the only ones. Turns out not even jackhammering could stop the terrace from drawing its usual glamorous crowd, which included NY Giant Steve Weatherford who was happily sitting at the table to our right with a large group of 20 or so. Bachelor party maybe? Dinner seemed to be the start of some sort of party!
Cipriani’s cocktail menu offered an impressive selection, so we wasted no time in ordering our first round! One of the more interesting choices was The Bull Shot. Uniquely, without a description on the menu, it peaked our curiosity. When we asked our waiter/aspiring male model about it, he had no idea what was in it, claiming it was almost never ordered….with 1 exception. He explained how some mysterious patron had been coming in several times a week for years, ordering The Bull Shot every time. The story was enough to entice us. Unfortunately, The Bull Shot ended up tasting like beef bouillon. Ick! Not exactly my cup of tea. For those with more conventional tastes, my favorites were the Sweet Mary and the Mr. C. — both perfect, refreshing, summer choices. While some cocktails were better than others, the bartender’s heavy hand was consistent, so if getting tipsy is your goal, you’ll have no problem accomplishing it here!
As for the food: The choices on Cipriani’s restaurant week tasting menu were very limited, offering only 1 dessert! Not being a fan of strawberry shortcake, I opted out. I chose the steak tar tar, rigatoni Bolognese, and their famous filet mignon. The appetizers were disappointing across the board. The tasting menu choice was an unimpressive cucumber salad; while my steak tar tar, served mashed into a thin patty, was beyond unappetizing. It looked like a raw burger and lacked any seasoning or texture to convince otherwise. The restaurant week menu doesn’t offer a pasta course, so thankfully, my rigatoni was large enough to share. It proved better than the appetizers, although a little too al dente for my tastes.
Unsurprisingly, the highlight of Cipriani, food wise, was our main courses, the filet Mignon and the Veal. Both were so expertly cooked, so we quickly overcame our discontent and finally, our hunger! Overall I think Cipriani on Wall needs to step up their game a bit, but the view alone is enough to keep people coming back. Vegetarian? Opt for just drinks, dinner is sure to disappoint!
-Ashly (Tipsy In NY)