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STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- I'm no food critic by any stretch but I do know when I'm having a nice night out after a long, hard week. And Saturday was unforgettable.

On April 1, my husband and I dined at the Chef's Loft at the Stone House, a picturesque restaurant nestled in a mirage-like sanctuary over a footbridge with sweeping views of Clove Lakes Park. It was an early birthday celebration for me.

I've been to Stone House for dinner many times with family and for innumerable work lunches or with girlfriends, but the Chef's Loft is in a league of its own. The crowd is intimate -- only up to 16 people per evening -- and the out-of-this-world food is prepared right in front of you by chef and owner, Peter Botros.

In short, it's an amazing and unique dining experience. I felt like a movie star with a private chef.

At $125 a head, will this S.I. restaurant concept work?

An open letter to the Stone House introduces an ambitious new dining experience to the borough.

What did we have for dinner? When we were seated -- at a cozy table with a bird's eye view of the sold-out main dining room (admittedly, I often looked down to see if I knew anyone in the crowd) -- there was already cheddar and chose biscuits with horseradish butter waiting for us.

It was followed by an asparagus salad with bocconcini and crispy prosciutto. I'd never had the Italian ham not on a melon before and not for brunch before. Delicious!