There is always that one restaurant in your city that you keep wanting to try. I have intended to eat at La Quercia several times. One time we wanted to have a birthday dinner there for a friend but the small space could not accommodate our numbers. Another time I tried to walk in off the street with my aunt and they were fully booked for the night. As soon as January rolled around, and I began thinking about Valentine's Day plans, I decided to book a table at La Quercia, more than a month in advance.
Our dinner here was incredible. While La Quercia does offer a small a la carte menu, the servers (and chefs) encourage adventurous diners to opt for their familia set menu. This is $50 per person and consists of seven shared courses, based on items that are fresh in the markets and in the kitchen. Before I describe what we had, I should mention two things I noticed about the restaurant. First, the kitchen is jam-packed with chefs. For a restaurant that only seats thirty people, they had four chefs, a dishwasher, and an expediter. Second, the service was outstanding. I can't stand the austerity of staff members at many fine dining establishments. The price of dishes should not alter a server's personality, nor burden the customer with behavioural expectations or forced formality. The serving staff at La Quercia were faultlessly attentive without being intrusive, and they came across as being both relaxed and extremely proud of what they were serving.