Sorry it has taken me a bit to respond.
The ambience was EXACTLY what I expected. Kitschy, but fun kitschy. So much so that I found myself looking around the room and remarking, "Wow. Finally a place that makes Wagon Wheel Chandeliers WORK. I always knew it could be done." And I mean that, sincerely. A solid "A".
The service was impressive old-school service. From the rote-but-well-played greetings, the coat-check, the long walk to a table by an obsequiously kind manager, to the mandatory check-back after every course, to the glances from the suited managers prowling the room looking for elderly damsels having a hard time with their chair backs and asking if everything was satisfactory --they are seriously good about service. We also got lucky, I imagine, with a waiter from Spain. Those hombres know how to schmooze. I don't mean that in a condescending way, at all. I'm jealous of those guys. If I hadn't had to refill every glass of wine, personally, for the rest of the night (one half bottle white, one bottle red), that guy would get an "A+". I normally wouldn't care, but this was supposed to be a special night (Thanksgiving), in a special place, with a load of loot to boot.
Don't get me wrong. I perversely enjoy dropping $350-400 on dinner for two, now and again. It makes me feel alive.
But the food! Oh My God. The food was nearly abominable. The appetizers were complete crap. The second course of up-charged salads we had were okay-to-good. The entrees were a joke. The Gal was in the mood for the turkey dinner, and what came out were carving scraps. My Game Plate was different textures of the same grill, all charred. The desserts were an afterthought, at best. The, also up-charged, souffle was like a hint of a real souffle. As if it were saying, "Hey, this is what a souffle might be, if a souffle didn't care about itself."
It all reminded me of my axiom regarding any restaurant that has a great view: the better the view, the worse the food.
I can see why this restaurant has it's defenders. It's been there for 30 years. People grew up there. Went to their first Big Dinner with the Adults, had their first grown-up drink with Grandma, smoked their first joint in the parking lot with Uncle Rickie, whatever. But it's not for the food.
Four nights later, the two of us had "Nana's Sunday Dinner" at The Majestic in Old Town, a complete turkey dinner for four, which was $68 total, not including our 2 orange Nehi's. It was pretty damn good. I just finished the last of the turkey yesterday.
Ciao - S