Love at Lincoln Ristorante

Love at Lincoln Ristorante

On a recent dreary Friday, I was cheered by the thought of having lunch with an old friend, someone I haven't seen in years. She suggested (being that she works at Lincoln Center) Lincoln Ristorante, the still-relatively-new Italian restaurant that opened near the reflecting pool of this iconic complex. I thought I'd enjoy a "nice" lunch: I wasn't expecting spectacular. And while yes, the food was most definitely something to write home about (or in this case blog home about), the service was the kind that you have to mention because white glove service is still an exceptional thing. Aside from the manager politely coming over several times to check on things and that wonderful feeling of your sparkling water being invisibly filled up (reminded me of the magic wine glass in "The Bishop's Wife"), not a crumb was on the table for more than a moment before it was whisked away by a pair of magic hands (again, so fast and so seamlessly you have no idea who did it). At the end of the meal, our gracious waiter asked, "how was everything?" Which is, of course, a normal enough question at any fine restaurant in town. But the followup question: "was anything too salty or overdone or underdone, simply not to your liking?," suggesting the kitchen really wants the honest feedback, and not the perfunctory "yes, everything was great," really awed me. And I haven't even mentioned the food, which was deeply flavorful and perfectly cooked (gnocchi with pesto genovese, rainbow trout atop root vegetables, a tender and marinated pork dish infused with foie gras). A dear friend, a superb meal and extraordinary service. No dreary Friday afternoon anymore.