Have you been to Anthology in Little Italy? It’s a cool little supper club that opened up in June 2007 and I swear I wouldn’t have even know about it if I hadn’t been
annoying myself browsing the Chowhound boards and seen a post on it. T was interested in seeing Royal Crown Revue; I was totally interested in some fancy dinner dishes. My mom had left us some dinner-spending money when she was visiting, so we used that and splurged on show tickets and dinner. Sorry I don’t have pictures of the food. I wasn’t planning on starting a “blog” (can we call it something else yet?) when we were there, but I also would have felt funny taking pictures in that place. You’ll just have to hope I’m descriptive enough to do Anthology justice.
First, the venue is just gorgeous. It’s nice and modern and it really is set up so that there’s no bad seat in the ENTIRE HOUSE. To sit on the main floor, you probably need to purchase the preferred dinner package, a 3-course prix fixe menu that is $65/person (not including show tickets), unless they aren’t sold out of dinner packages and have empty table available. Because this was our first time and I didn’t know what to expect, I just bought basic first floor tickets and hoped for the best. You order tickets on Ticketmaster, or through the Anthology ticket counter when it’s open, and then call the restaurant to make dinner reservations. Shows start at 7:30 pm and you can arrive for dinner any time after 5 pm. They also serve during the performance. We didn’t get to sit on the main floor, but we were sitting at the bar/tables a couple steps up from the main floor, right in front of the booths (extra $ plus you need to buy at least 4 tickets). I’d say we had better seats than some tables on the main floor! The second and third floors have clear glass railings, so you can sit at little cocktail tables there but still have a great view of the stage. I don’t know much about acoustics, but it sounded great to me, I could still talk to and hear T, and we didn’t hear much noise from people eating. Mmm… eating…
When we go out to spendy dinners, we tend to split an appetizer even if the dish isn’t really meant for sharing. This time we split their heirloom tomato soup that came with a baby basil/tomato salad (= small pile) and a mini grilled cheese sandwich. Now, I make a mean tomato soup, but this one was even better. Perfectly clean tomato flavor and so yummy with that grilled cheese. Yum. I also saw people with the cheese plate and I am definitely getting that when we go back (because we will be going back).
For dinner, I had the braised short rib raviolo and T had the prime cap steak, medium-rare and the “chef recommends”. I was a little surprised and the small portions, but that just meant I had to take my time with each bite, to savor each morsel, and make the dish last long enough. Two ravioli and a piece of short rib, but by taking small bites and nibbling at the various vegetables around the plate, I was actually pretty full by the time I scraped my plate clean. The prime cap steak came in 3 or 4 slices, perfectly medium-rare, with some mashed potatoes, roasted mushrooms and beans, and some yummy creamed corn shmear. I did help clean off the potatoes and the shmear. And some mushrooms.
I am all about dessert. If there is room in my tummy and the dessert menu looks interesting enough, you can bet we’ll be ordering something. I’d heard good things about the tapioca, the mini cupcakes, and the sorbet trio. The dessert sampler plate listed a small portion of tapioca, a mini cupcake, and the chocolate pudding – 2 out of 3 didn’t sound bad and it was only $2 more than any other dessert so we went with it. What we got was almost 2 desserts on one plate! The little cup of tapioca, the little cup of chocolate pudding, a small chocolate brownie (meh) and THREE mini cupcakes!! I was actually a little disappointed in the chocolate desserts, but the tapioca was really nice. Not thick and goopy, but almost soupy with soft velvety tapioca pearls. The mini carrot cupcake was the best of the three, especially with the candied carrot sliver on top. How do they do that?
With a glass of wine, a cocktail, and coffee at the end, we came out of Anthology for about $90 after tax (edited: oops, it was after tax but before tip). I don’t think that’s so bad for what I consider to be an upscale meal. It was a lot of fun, I got some dancing out of it, the food made me very happy, and we came back home satisfied and ready for bed.
Anthology has a house band that plays most Thursdays and there usually isn’t a cover charge. There is a $20 food and drink minimum, though. I think going to see the no-cover house band would be a good way to repeat the fun for a little less money. I would highly recommend going there if you’d like to enjoy a night out. We even found plenty of street parking, which is a total bonus!
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