steak.jpgAppetites at full throttle after the drive up and back to the city, my opera companion and I hit Gabriella Cafe last Sunday like cross-dressed longshoremen after a 20-hour shift.

Gabriella complied with glasses of Smith Madrone Cabernet Sauvignon (full of cassis and leather), which made the perfect companion for a shared filet mignon that knocked us out with its utter perfection. So good was this steak — and a rare indulgence for me  — that I brought The Guy back a few nights later to see for himself.

We began with a split order of the colorful Live Earth roasted beet salad, interlaced with ricotta salata, unctuous pistachio butter and thyme. This brilliant dish was beets.jpgpunctuated by tart pomegranate seeds, and topped with a froth of infant radicchio sprouts.

Then came the steak, wearing a necklace of al dente broccolini and an almost illegally rich stew of oxtail. The picture says it all. Grass-fed beef never tasted better, and at $28 it was bargain luxury.