Trabue has been a few different things over the years, including in the past ten years a bicycle shop, a wine bar (Bin 82), and a tapas restaurant. It is now a full service restaurant specializing in something loosely described as "fine dining". It has some excellent features, like wonderful service and an accommodating chef, and it has some drawbacks, like a somewhat cold and spare atmosphere and a noisy kitchen.
It might be wise to add some soft surfaces, like drapes or sound panels, or something else, to dampen the noise. The ceiling is quite high, and while beautifully finished, generates an echo chamber effect. The kitchen at the rear has the usual expected noises of clattering pans and dishes, and while the openness is a positive factor, the noise can be bothersome. The bar is attractive and convivial.
The service is about as perfect as could be desired. Friendly, gracious, helpful ... Our server was nothing less than outstanding. Water glasses were refilled regularly, plates were served promptly and properly, and overall this is about as "fine" an experience as we've seen, anywhere.
The menu is good without being great. There are several other area restaurants with menus of equal caliber. The wine list is deep and varied. Pricing is notably higher here than in other equivalent nearby restaurants. For the differences in both wine and menu pricing (we'd estimate 20-25% higher than its competition), we had somewhat higher expectations.
Before dinner, we asked if there might be a cheese or meat tray we could share. (There were six of us.) The chef was happy to prepare something off-menu that was perfect: Pecorino, Bleu and Manchego along with fresh bread and some delicious prosciutto.
The meals were well prepared but maybe a bit disappointing. The soups were just OK, but we expected something better than average in the roast butternut squash soup, or the white bean soup; they were just ordinary. The escargot appetizer, something we don't often see in the area, was just OK. The salads were very fresh and very good. The entrees were fine but nothing special. The scallops were large and fresh, but the creamed corn on which they were placed was bland and unremarkable.
Overall, Trabue ought to be better than it is. Other restaurants in the neighborhood (Opus, Santhino's, River City Grill and others) offer somewhat similar experiences, but we expected more from Trabue given the pricing difference. We will return and try some different things on the menu. Meanwhile, we left feeling lukewarm about the experience.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.