The Atmosphere:

It is attached to the Inn at Penn so there are less dates and more people who have already gotten a room. The lighting is warm and romantic but the booths seemed too large for an intimate date. The noise level was pleasant and the space is big enough that the tables are never encroaching on each other, but that sort of isolation can make the restaurant feel a bit impersonal.

The Food:

Pretty conventional Italian, heavy on pastas and salt. A spinach salad opener with goat cheese, pumpkin, and cherries was generous and tasty but nothing spectacular. I was more impressed by David's soup. The Valentine's Day special of heart-shaped ricotta ravioli in a tomato-basil sauce was more unusual and cooked perfectly, but the sodium content of the sauce detracted from the dish. This problem extended to the entr‚e of seared scallops and porcini risotto with green beans. The scallops were the perfect texture but the saltiness of the dish was a bit too strong even for the creaminess of the risotto to overcome. And as for the cannoli at the end, I'd say take the pistachio crust but leave the overly sweet filling.

The Service:

Too much help from too many people, sometimes interrupting the dinner unnecessarily. Each waiter was extraordinarily friendly and thoughtful, but we sometimes ended up with a lecture instead of directions to the restroom. One of our waiters was very knowledgeable about wine but difficult to understand due to his accent, and we seemed to make him increasingly nervous as the night went on.

Final Thoughts:

The wine list is extensive but not very student-friendly, given its steep sticker price and lack of self-explanatory names (a la Franzia's "Delicious Red").

How Was The Date:

He was friendly, laidback, and without a doubt the least awkward part of the ordeal. Between our inscrutable wait staff and some miscommunication with the kitchen, it was really easy to form a bond based on confusion. We rarely ran out of things to say, and when we did we just talked about Feb Club and how it's awesome.

Highlights:

He went out of his way to walk me to my door in a -10 wind chill, which is something I don't even think I'd make a boyfriend do.

Notable Quotes:

"I only have one class this semester. Want to order champagne?"

Will You Be Seeing Each Other On Valentine's Day? I don't know, is there a Feb Club event?


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