My husband and I dined at Characters this past weekend to celebrate our anniversary. We had high expectations and unfortunately everything, aside from the service, fell short. When I made the reservation a week prior, I requested a romantic table and the hostess recommended the elevator room. The table was semi private but it lacked ambiance. There was no decor or candles - just a linen covered table and four chairs. I asked the waiter if he could bring us a candle for the table and he informed us that the owner "does not like candles" but he would see what he could do. He returned with one tea light.
We shared the shrimp cocktail and short rib risotto appetizers and had the duck and lamb for our main courses. We found the shrimp cocktail to be average and the cocktail sauce was blended with cilantro. The short rib risotto was very bland and the risotto was crunchy. The duck was mediocre and we weren't fond of the pineapple glaze. The lamb was the most disappointing dish - presentation and flavor-wise. It was two medallions of rare lamb served on a bed of re-fried beans with bubblegum pink colored sauce pooled in the four corners of the plate. At $18/appetizer and $45/main, we found the dishes to be quite overpriced for the quality. The complimentary french fries and dip were the best part of the meal; however, when you're expecting a "fine dining" type experience, getting a bowl of french fries to have with a bottle of Amarone wasn't ideal. Nice breads and butter to start would have been more appropriate. Aside from the disappointing and underwhelming food, the service was very good. Our waiter was attentive, friendly and polite.
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