My family and I went to Ici for Mother's Day, having read reviews on Yelp and other places. My wife wanted to eat in a garden setting, which Ici certainly provided. It is a nice space hung with lights and containing French-style park chairs and tables. The interior of the restaurant looked very nice -- simple but stylish, on the ground floor of a nice brownstone.
After the good initial impression, things started to go a bit awry. We waited at least ten minutes for anyone to approach us (except for someone with some water) and had to ask a passing server if we could order drinks. The drinks -- a martini and a julep-type concoction -- were good.
We then ordered some artisinal (hate that word!) cheeses and some olives and a squid salad appetizer. The cheeses were very good; the olives so-so and the squid somewhat disappointing -- a few bits of fish on a bed of mesclun (though the dressing was fine).
The wine list was interesting, though our by-the-glass wines were disappointing. I ordered a Touraine, which is of course a sauvignon blanc. It was either off or unlike any Touraine I have had. I told the server, who understood me to have just disliked it rather than having a problem. I asked for another type of wine, which was fine. She charged me for the wine which I had rejected, but because she had not charged us for one of the cocktails, I didn't mention it.
Which brings me to the service. Overall it was somewhat lackadaisical, at least from our server. As my wife remarked, it seemed like our server was a comp lit major who would rather have been curled up with a book.
So it was on to the main course. I chose the fish special (cod), my wife had halibut and our kids shared a steak. Both fish dishes tasted good, very good, in fact, but the portions were very small. The steak, which turned out to be a cut-up sirloin -- not what we imagined-- also was very small and was overcooked (we had ordered medium-rare). The portions could have been 50 percent bigger without getting anywhere near the over-the-top portions often found in America. It all seemed a little mean (in the sense of miserly).
Given that things were so slow and the kids were getting restless, we decided to skip desert. The check came to $160, which I thought was a bit steep for the level of service and the quantities of food.
Overall, I don't think I would go back to Ici. As I said, the food was good in general, but the lack of professional service and tiny portions does not recommend me to it again. A pity, because the setting is nice and with just a few changes it could be a very good restaurant.
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