19. January 2014 19:23
Rich parents have a tricky time raising proper children. Not because their wealth intrinsically corrupts, but because of the misguided forces of human correlation. Correlating offspring with themselves, wealthy parents tend to allow the feral beings to tumbleweed through early life because, very likely, they were denied the wilderness themselves. And so it is with hotel restaurants. The hotel is the rich parent and, its overwhelming failure to tighten up the reigns, leads to the certain failure of the child restaurant. I have railed against this scourge quite often. I prepared to do the same with Nico Osteria. But I can’t. Save for their healthy Rush-Street pricing, they are an excellent addition to the street of Dine and Drink.
The location that most recently gave birth to Nico Osteria has gone through so many identities that I joked, 4 years ago, during a month of Spanish-themes, that the staff might walk in to work with “tapas” and walk out with “sushi.” I also expressed doubt about the location’s possible continuance for even the wealthiest of parents (hi Rande Gerber) can grow tired of bailing out their misbehaving children. I regret my cavalier dismissal.
My only complaint about the restaurant is price. The anemic fish one gets for US$20 is inexcusable, Rush Street or not. “Crudo” means “raw” in Italian and I certainly felt beaten that way. I don’t know why the prices didn’t stop us from ordering 4 crudos. Perhaps they have the supply=demand function figured out quite well. And their wine is priced at a shocking 2x markup. Also excellent.
How about the service? Certainly I could find something there I didn’t like. Unfortunately, I couldn’t. What was, perhaps, a testament to overstaffing, my water glass never went below half-way and not a crumb dropped on the table went without removal. I glanced to the far corner of the bar and saw 11 staffers (I counted…come on, you know I did) standing there looking for empty glasses to fill or crumbs to collect. And I felt, for the first time, that someone other than a techie knows what one must do to buy redundancy. Rich parent that actually invest in their children. I think I love it. If I could afford it, I would come here again.