Last Saturday, two of my friends and I, celebrated our birthdays at The 317 and were so delighted with the experience I had to write this. From the fresh and just-right-dressed salads to the amuse bouche of little lamb meatballs to our varied entrees, the experience was first class. My braised duck thigh and seared duck breast with a savory bread pudding and sautéed chard was rich with deep flavors without being heavy or greasy. It was also cooked to perfection, tender and moist, which can be a problem with duck breast which in a very good Alexandria VA restaurant some months ago at much higher prices took ages to chew because of toughness. Our beverages were reasonably priced - I had a split of prosecco for $7, as was the whole meal with entrees coming in under $30. I did not have room to sample my friends' entrees but both raved about their respective seafood and vegetarian choices. My vegetarian friend was especially impressed with her dish, a wild mushroom, asparagus, goat cheese strudel, with Swiss chard, and blistered tomatoes as often vegetarian choices in gourmet restaurants are the red-headed orphan on the menu. Serving were generous and the service attentive without being in-your-face. No "my name is Griselda and I'll be your server tonight", thanks to the restaurant gods! The ambience was warm, and understated with white cloth table cloths, lots of wood, good crystal, and felt like a special place to be eating. I only wished we'd thought to reserve a table in the window in front! But our spot was fine, too, and quiet so that we could actually have a conversation! In short, if you want a New York city experience at Syracuse prices - go directly and immediately to The 317. It is somewhat hidden away on a not major street (Montgomery) in the heart of downtown. The good news is that parking was a non-issue. Bon appetite! Kate A
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