OK let's start with the good:
THE FOOD -- surprisingly innovative, excellent food. Most of what we ate was some of the best we've had in the city, including an awesome asian-inspired panzanella salad, a great vegetarian pasta, and an ancho pork chop. Also excellent Macarons for dessert, I know they are sort of getting played out but these were really excellent.
One thing I like was that many dishes included "avant garde" elements, such as a foie gras cotton candy, savory gelles, and an interesting if vegetably homemade fennel sausage. Not everything came out tasting all that great (to me, anyway), but they tended to be smaller parts of each dish and I appreciate very much that the chef likes to innovate, it makes dinner interesting!
Now on to the bad/annoying parts of dinner:
THE BREAD -- yes, they charge for bread. And in our case last night, some of it was stale! If you're going to charge for bread, you better be serving some darn good bread! This was very annoying.
THE WATER -- Yes, they also charge for still water. $2 for each (refillable) bottle they leave on your table. I just think that is so low. Talk about feeling nickle-and-dimed, and ruining what could otherwise be one of the best restaurants in the city. They REALLY need to stop doing this.
THE SERVICE -- We noticed lots of young waiters, which is a bit unusual for a restaurant in this price range, our server was no different. He seemed nice and he was trying very hard to act like a fine dining waiter, but it just wasn't there. From not knowing the menu very well, to forgetting an item we had ordered, to awkward cleaning/resetting of silverware, it was just not five-star service. For a place that charges some of the most expensive prices in an expensive city for their food (plus bread, plus water) I want five-star service.
THE MENU -- I think this is more a personal pet peeve, the menu turned out to be one of those that intentionally obfuscate what the dishes will actually be like when they come out, featuring the ingredients instead (especially the dessert menu). For some of our dishes we were surprised with what came out based on what we ordered. It wasn't always a negative surprise, but I think menus are created for a reason, and they should be more accurate in their descriptions.