The Wayne Hotel’s staid old dining room has undergone a lavish multimillion-dollar facelift, adding a sleek modern swagger to the plush dining room and lively lounge, and swapping the former Taquet’s classic French inclinations for a more New American-style menu. The setting and prime ingredients and wine list are ready to make this newcomer a fine-dining destination. Unfortunately, a consistent lack of cooking finesse and the occasionally overwhelmed service do not yet correspond adequately to the seriously upscale prices. Entrees: $24-$50; bar entrees, $15-$34.
Cauliflower soup with lobster; market tuna; tartare trio; crispy pork cheeks over grits; chestnut ravioli with duck confit; culotte steak-frites; bone-in ribeye; beignets; butterscotch pudding.
A substantial wine and spirits program with 800 bottles behind glass and about 125 labels represented. List is largely American, with 14 decent wines by the glass and lots of good choices under $50 (Gloria Ferrer chard; Lehmann “Layers” white blend; Cline mourvèdre; Cannonau di Sardegna) to go with some prestige bottles such as Sea Smoke “Ten” pinot noir ($200), Kieran Robinson syrah ($120), plus a well-rounded selection of sweet and fortified wines, and spirits. There is also a well-chosen craft beer list, too, with 10 good drafts (Stillwater saison; Monk’s Wit) and a handful of good bottles (La Fin du Monde; Edmund Fitzgerald).
Considering the plush decor, the dining room can become surprisingly loud, hitting mid-90 decibels. (Ideal is 75 decibels or less.)