A first visit to the Company Inkwell requires a leap of faith to overcome the slightly contrived horse-collar-and-barn-siding decor and the theatrical introduction by the waiter in black tie. The tall white tapers with flowers at their base are elegant, but their red velvet ribbons tie them into the hokeyness. But the food is serious, highly professional. Besides the standard menu - Dover stole, quenelles, crabmeat en chemise, veal scallops, flamed steaks and rack of lamb - some more fanciful dishes are among the daily specials. Sauces at the Company Inkwell manage to be light and rich, the best example being a shallot cream on barely poached oysters, or very fragrant beurre blanc on the salmon. The chef seasons with a strong hand, which works well with the quenelles and steak au poivre, less well with the tarragon-flavored lamb and too'sweet veal with grapes. Ingredients - top quality lamb, well-aged beef, ivory veal, good cognac for flaming - are excellent, and the tableside preparations show competence as well as flourish. Attention, attention - it shows in the service, in the salads, in the preparation, in the wine list (which has better prices at the low end, some overpicing at the high end), in the greeting on the phone and at the door. Lest the finale be a letdown, finish with fruit or a Grand Marnier parfait and don't blunder into any dessert so elaborate as pastry. Where the Company Inkwell is good it is very, very good, and these days the talent shows most clearly in the sauces, as it has always shown in the service.