Atmosphere is great, management presence is great, and they made a terrific dirty martini. We are giving it only three stars for the following reasons: service was a little disjointed, though he was trying and we get it that it's a new place working out the bugs; food was great in some ways and mediocre in others. To start, we had three of the brushettas: traditional, date jam, and shrimp. The shrimp and traditional were both a little bland and the bread on all three was a little too hard and crusty. The meatball appetizer was very good. The beet salad was wonderful, as were the scallops. Our biggest disappointment was the limited choice of pasta entrees. Of the five pasta offerings, three were seafood dishes: squid ink, shrimp, and clam. I can't have seafood, and frankly the other two choices were a little boring. How about adding an angel hair diavolo, a fresh mushroom risotto, or a four-cheese ravioli or tortellini? The filet mignon had a good flavor but was a little overcooked; we ordered it medium but it was served barely pink. In fairness, the waiter asked if he could get us another but because everyone else at the table was almost finished with their entrees and because the taste was good, we thanked him but told him no. For dessert we chose a heavenly salted caramel creme brulee, and a seemingly frozen, pre-made and otherwise bland chocolate cannoli that went largely uneaten.
We'll go back for another try. CR really needs a great Italian place, so we will hope some small changes will make a big difference.