Yes, Tony’s. Legendary restaurateur Tony Vallone’s longtime bastion of fine dining and high society has had various incarnations — along with a few wobbly spells, one of them rather recent. Yet lately Tony’s is back in fine form, thanks to Vallone’s shrewd recruitment of young chef Grant Gordon, whose precise technique gives the restaurant a new contemporary edge. You taste it most on the right-hand side of the menu, where the seasonal prix-fixe tastings include pasta dishes that rival any in America. From house-made garganelli with pate sauce and toasted breadcrumbs to neatly turned gnocchi, you can’t go wrong — and there’s a new pasta tasting menu for those who can’t decide, with savvy and well-priced wine pairings to match. Gordon is just as deft with proteins, whether it’s pan-seared sole against counterintuitive antelope jus or Kobe tenderloin with bone marrow and mustard-cipollini puree. Even details shine, like a soup du jour of parsley root with dewy lobster and spoonbill caviar. Aside from a spectacular Moroles sculpture and a Lichtenstein piece, the dining room looks dated, wrapped in its relentlessly mauvey tones and somber sepia light. But it cheers up by daylight, and the coddling service swaddles diners in the near-forgotten comforts of another age.
Entree price range: $$$$
Where: 3755 Richmond Ave.
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