My wife and I dined at Lorenzo's at 6:30 on a Friday night.
We hadn't been to Lorenzo's for 13 years, after dining there when we first moved to the area and finding it average. But we have friends who continually rave about the place and noticed it had just won some awards, so thought it was time to give it another try.
Booking: We booked through their web site, and promptly received a confirmation email the next morning from Lorenzo himself. Nice touch. We also received a very friendly phone call the day of the booking to re-confirm.
Arrival/Ordering: When we arrived we were seated immediately and were promptly offered the cocktail, wine & food menus. There was no mention of specials, so we assumed there weren't any and happily ordered 2 cocktails to start. My wife ordered a french Martini ($14), and I ordered a Raspberry Cosmopolitan ($15). Both of these were superb, arriving within minutes of ordering. We perused the menu and selected the dishes we wanted. I decided as we were at an Italian restaurant, and I did not know my italian wines I'd allow the staff to help select a good wine. We closed our menus and promptly Lorenzo himself greeted us at our table, saying as we'd closed our menus he was thinking we'd made our decision. We placed our orders, and Lorenzo was very helpful with a wine selection of Ville Matilde Falangina ($55) based on our Australia wine tastes.
Food: Entree: We both ordered the Salmon Tartare with Avocado Ice cream ($26). It's rare we order the same dished, both this just sounded so good! And it was. The flavours were amazing and presentation nice. Probably one of the best entree's I've had for years, and certainly the best salmon based entree I've ever experienced.
Main: I ordered the veal loin ($44) and my wife ordered the tagliarini ($29). Both flavoursome, cooked well and perfect sizes, again presentation was there.
Experience: Firstly, service was extremely good. In fact, by the time we'd finished our main we'd only been there for one hour! (But I'll get back to that).
Then came some surprises: During our main, a couple sat next to us, and prior to ordering Lorenzo told them about the specials! WTF?? Then we realised, because we'd closed our menu's, Lorenzo assumed we were regulars and knew what we wanted to order. Hence no talk about specials. That kind of made us sad, and the special s sounded really good. We then decided to make up for this by going for a desert to share. The minute our plates were cleared we were presented with desert menus and we decided on sharing the Semifreddo ($16)... BUT as we'd only been there a total of 60 minutes at this point when we told the waitress we'd like to wait 10 - 15 minutes before having dessert she hesitated, then told us Lorenzo had told her someone was booked on our table shortly and we'd have to move to another table "out the back" if we wanted to wait. My wife lost her cool and the waitress ran away, then coming back to say that Lorenzo said it would be OK if we stayed at the table. The initial experience had been ruined by silly things, and at this point we were feeling a little dissapointed.
The dessert was beautiful but really rich. I'm not sure if I could have eaten one on my own so was glad we were sharing it.
We asked for the bill and paid promptly with the thought lingering that they were wanting the table. total bill was $234 for the two of us.
Redemption: On the way out, my wife quietly approached Lorenzo (away from other patrons) and relayed her feelings about being rushed through and not being told at the time of booking of a time that we would need to be out by (which we accept when told this at other restaurants). He genuinely apologised to her, and offered us both a complimentary drink in the bar next door. We took him up on his offer. We ordered 2 cocktails and actually enjoyed the bar atmosphere, settling in to the comfy couch and spending an extended time talking. We ended up starting a tab and having 2 more wines, Lorenzo coming in at one point and offering cheese to go with our wine which we kindly declined. On leaving I went to settle the bill, and the barman told me that Lorenzo had said that all drinks were on the house. I refused, and after one of those arguments where both people are being way too nice and are offering to pay, we settled on us paying for our last wine.
We left, having had a great meal, experiencing mostly great service and concluding that we would return. We might just ask what time we need to be out at the time of booking, and remember to not close our menus before Lorenzo comes over to take our order!