Archestratus, the first food critic, praised Italian cuisine's use of "top-quality and seasonal" ingredients and its "fair-to-middling" ability to tranquillize out-of-control mayors. Today's Groupon to Coco Lezzone similarly stuns, and rightfully so. Choose from the following options:
• For $65, you get a five-course tasting menu for two (up to a $166 value).
• For $25, you get $50 worth of Italian fare and drinks on Friday or Saturday.
• For $20, you get $50 worth of Italian fare and drinks Sunday–Thursday.
The five-course tasting menu includes:
• Two shrimp bisques
• Two orders of caprese salad or seafood antipasto
• Two orders of mushroom risotto
• Two entrees of filet mignon, sea bass, or roasted chicken
• Two tiramisu or crème brûlée desserts
Coco Lezzone festoons plates with traditional pastas, risotto, and seafood. Once diners are fully strapped into seats, five-course meals begin with a traditional sounding of the dinner foghorn and a steaming bowl of shrimp bisque served with fresh dill and crème fraiche. Next, caprese salad and seafood antipasto joust for the affections of diners, followed by a course of creamy mushroom risotto, ideal for nibbling in between conversations about the origins of shoulder pads. Entrees include filet mignon, flanked by garlic mashed potatoes and peppercorn sauce, and sea bass lounging on a bed of basmati rice. To end the meal, chattering sweet teeth are supplemented with the creamy coolness of tiramisu or crème brûlée.
Alternatively, diners can opt to cruise the dinner menu on their own terms. Like a scarecrow's briefcase, the ravioli bursts with squash, roasted garlic, and baby spinach ($18), and ossobuco's slow-braised veal shank benefits from the fragrant addition of saffron risotto ($24). Bask at candlelit tables beneath crystal chandeliers and toast friends or enchanted mannequins with a martini or a selection from Coco Lezzone's global wine list.