Roasted beet salad ($12)
Enlivened by a blood orange vinaigrette, paired well with goat cheese and hazelnuts, though a funky note in the background—was that truffle oil?—was somewhat distracting. (And I wouldn't have minded the leaves cut a bit smaller.)
Shaved prosciutto di Parma ($14)
Salad or antipasto platter? It's hard to tell, but doesn't matter much with the pairing of tender cured ham, nutty Manchego, and candied walnuts.
A dish for winter, hearty rather than heavy, so smooth and nutty it wouldn't grow monotonous even without the smoked salmon and pickled gala apple on top.
Crisp and tender with an ample seasoning of lemon and salt. Had it been properly warm when served, it would have been one of the best dishes of the night. The hearts of palm, avocado, and frisee were a fine accompaniment, though they seemed more like a virtuous and tasty salad for when the fun was over, than they did a coherent part of the dish.
Warm and inviting, it's the kind of place that makes dinner feel like an occasion.
Subtle, but powerful, and just plain good: a simple toss with Meyer lemon, olive oil, and chilis bring acid and heat and more flavor than you'd expect.
Butternut squash gnocchi ($18)
I might have liked them more if they hadn't been called gnocchi. But as butternut squash dumplings, soft mounds of sweet, creamy squash flavor made indulgent with brown butter, sage, and pancetta, I liked them very much indeed.
Five-spice duck breast ($26)
The duck skin crisps up beautifully, the spices subtle, letting the flavorful meat shine —though the best part of the dish may have been the chestnut spaetzle, soft morsels with irresistible crust.
No less hearty than the meat dishes, particularly given the rouille crostini that perch on top. It's as composed a dish as any of the others—the striped bass given a gorgous crust, not just chunks drowning in liquid; the shellfish tender, the broth a sultry, salty oceanic stew you'll spoon up one careful bite at a time.
A subtle, creamy mascarpone, not-too-spiced pumpkin, and dark chocolate hazelnut. Silky-smooth and intensely flavored, though the charge of $8 for the three golf-ball scoops was way off the mark.