First, I have to have to admit that I'm a fan of Chef Ramsay because his shows in the US and UK are fun to watch. I prefer the UK versions though. I arranged for my friend Erin and I to eat at the aforementioned restaurant for my birthday. It has two Michelin stars as of Jan 2009. Because we had tickets to the symphony, we had to get reservations at 5:30, so we could make it in time. As we arrive, we're ushered into the formal dining room. It's quite small (it seats 46) and is very beautiful. I wanted to take a picture, but it wouldn't have done it justice. The agreed to accommodate our schedule. We walk in just at 5:30. I had been concerned that our table would be given away, because my date for the evening wasn't ready by the time we needed to leave and we hit some bad traffic on the way there. It turns out I needn't have worried. There was no one there. The staff was waiting for us. We were the only ones in the dining room. We had the full and undivided attention of the table and kitchen staff for most of our meal. This was nice, but was slightly disturbing. I'll explain in a minute. As we are seated, we are offered a small appetizer compliments of the chef. This was served by a woman. It is small spoon with a potato foam with pepper and chives, along with four small bite sized potato pancakes filled with a type of fish (my descriptions are going to be very vague, because the wait staff also had thick accents) and I wasn't really paying all that much attention. I hate to admit I didn't know how to eat this potato foam because I only had a butter knife and a napkin. I had to ask. Next we were offered an apertif. I chose the house champagne, Henriot, Brut Souverain, which was quite good, because I got drunk very quickly. The champagne was served by a Frenchman, so this was kind of funny. He even sniffed the cork. I assume it's to see if it's good. It's not too dry, and has a fruity taste which I prefer to much drier champagnes such as Moet. We ordered our food because were were in a hurry. They suggested the the three course pre-fixed meal as opposed to the seven course because our time restraints. I was given a large menu with no prices listed, the wine menu, which was as thick as a phone book, and the dessert menu. I felt like I was studying for a test.... After we ordered our food, we were brought an Amuse bouche by the lady. It consisted of huge bowl with a 2 inch square of trout that was excellent and a type of cream at the bottom, again, their accents were thick and I wasn't taking notes. So I have no idea what it was. At the same time, we are offered our choice of water, and we are given a bottle of Evian. This was served by a third man. The water guy was good. If our water level dropped more than an inch, he appeared if my magic to refill our glasses. Appetizers Me: Sautéed Maine diver scallops with braised veal cheeks, Tahitian vanilla, parsnip cream Date: Same Main course: Me:Fillet of Wisconsin veal, tramazzini bread and chilled foie gras, Périgord truffle vinaigrette Date: Roasted breast of duck with spiced Anjou pear, chicken liver rillette Dessert: Me:Soft white chocolate ganache with white rum gelée, coconut foam, mango and basil sorbet Date:Single-origin Venezuelan chocolate mousse, passion fruit, balsamic reduction and yogurt sorbet Wine: Nebbiolo, Barbaresco, Produttori del Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy, 2005 (by the glass) We didn't want to be too drunk at the symphony. I highly recommend this wine, it's similar to a Cab, but not as strong and very smooth. After the amuse bouche, we were offered a choice of three breads, an Italian cake type, a hard bread with walnuts and cranberries, and a third one that we didn't choose. This was served by a either the water man or the Frenchman. I can't really remember because they moved like ghosts, and there were a too many of them to remember. They also brought a very chilled pat of butter on a polished marble slab. At the same time, our silverware along with our glassware was being placed with such precision, it would have brought a tear to a Marine Drill Instructor's eye. As I chiseled butter to put on my plate, I had dirtied my butter knife to to do so obviously. It was replaced with a fresh one within ten seconds. This was done by the lady, who is keeping us under CIA level surveillance. I will also mention that in between courses, she would come over with a straight edged utensil, and scrape off any crumbs off the table cloth. This of course was done with ninja like silence. I was in awe. Soon after we were brought the wine. This was served by another gentleman (who I assumed was the sommelier, since I only saw him when he took my wine order) The glassware was changed to different wine glasses. I don't know what was wrong with the ones we already had. They hadn't been used. At this point in the dinner, I'm getting a wee bit tipsy because I've had a flute of champagne and very little to eat, then I started sipping the wine. Fuck me, it was GOOD. I had the urge to bolt it, but I decided to take my time and enjoy it like a civilized person lest I embarrass my date to no end. I'd like to interrupt now and discuss something that I've touched on. Something had bothered me and I couldn't figure out what it was, and then I mentioned this to my date. "It's too quiet in here." I was slightly intimidated because the restaurant was absolutely silent. The only sounds we made were the tinkle of glassware and silverware and our plates. The wait staff moved quickly and quietly. It was eerie. Every move they made was like a choreographed ballet. Every person had a specific job, and once it was completed, they'd disappear, only to reappear at the other end of the restaurant. At the same time, they'd know exactly and I mean exactly what was going on at our table. I have no idea how, it was dim a church in there. I know they were communicating with each other, but since they didn't speak, they must have been using telepathy. She agreed. We were the only couple in there through the most of the meal. I remarked that "it felt as if they opened just for us". My date and I even whispered. It felt like we were in church. I had the feeling if I spoke too loud Gordon Ramsay was going to come out of the kitchen and rip me to shreds. I thought of the line from Ferris Bueller "It's very cold (it wasn't) and very beautiful, and you're not allowed to touch anything". We were halfway through our main courses before two more tables showed up. Our appetizers showed up (on a silver platter) with an entourage that consisted of the Frenchman and our water man, who was carrying the tray. The Frenchman's only purpose was to place our plates on the table and explain what we had ordered, then disappeared. The scallops were great. Unfortunately, we couldn't take our time. This process was repeated for our main entree's about 10 minutes later. The entourage was larger this time. It included the Frenchmen, the water man (again carrying the tray with my food on it, a second man with another tray, and another man (who I think was the doorman) and second woman with the sauces that they would personally drizzle on my food and around my plate. I can tell he has been trained. (I guarantee the chef would have ripped out that man's liver if the presentation wasn't perfect) and at the same time tell us what they were. I think some of the cast of Cleopatra were also there, but I must have missed them. The first lady comes over and watches the whole procession and wishes us a bon appetit and then is gone. The main courses were excellent of course. I believe the general manager comes over to ask about our meal (he isn't the first though) We're offered more bread, but have to decline. After we finish our meals, we're starting to get full. Small portions, but there's a lot of little courses plus the water, wine, and champagne have taken their toll. Next comes out a pre-dessert. It's a small piece of pistachio sponge-like cake with vanilla ice cream, which had salt on it. It was good. Now I AM getting really tipsy. A few minutes later, out desserts come out (again on a tray) with the first lady and our water man, who no longer has a job because we finished our rather large bottle of Evian. We are presented with our desserts and again, they pull a Houdini. I got to try my date's Venezuelan chocolate because it was really really rich, and she ordered coffee. This is brought out in its on a silver tray by the water man and someone else (it might have been the wine guy. I lost track. I swear they all wanted something to do. This coffee guy is like the rest of them, swift and silent. He jumped the gun though. He fills up the cup, disappears, and she takes a sip. Then he appears again, and fills the cup. We finish our desserts, then the doorman shows up with a candy trolley for us to sample. I almost want to cry. I can't eat anymore. We're good on time...but still. I only want to try two pieces, but he gets it in his head to put a little bit of everything on the sampling tray. Fuck. My date steps outside for some air, and she definately doesn't want any so and the doorman escorts her outside. (I did like the vanilla cotton candy and some mint bon bons.) They bring me the check. This is not a normal check. It's not put on the same receipt paper that you see in most restaurants. It's on fancy cardstock. The meal cost $400 including tip. It was the best meal I've ever ever had. I would go again if I could afford to. If you have the means, I highly recommend it.