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Manhattan

Cello - so not worth the $$$ (v. long)

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Cello - so not worth the $$$ (v. long)

Emma | Mar 28, 2002 11:23 PM

I dined at Cello tonight with a party of 10 and have several complaints. It seemed like someplace I'd like since I'm a pesco-vegetarian, and there were plenty of choices on the menu for me. Firstly, when I questioned my waiter about there being dairy in my choices (Ahi tuna tartare and seared John Dory) since I'm lactose intolerant, he kind of blew me off and I got the sense he was like 'whatever.' I get better service than that at far cheaper restaurants, when the server will double-check with the chef and then make sure there is no dairy in my food. At restaurants in the same price range, the chef usually modifies a dish for me and the server will assure me there is no dairy in each dish without my having to even ask.
The tuna was the best of my dishes - the sauce had some tangerine or orange extract. The sweetness was a nice contrast with the fish and onions and mustard seeds added some spice. The crab and avocado appetizer was very popular. The entrees arrived in a very haphazard manner, taking about 5 minutes to all get to our table. I noted a splash of the mashed potatoes in my dish, which everyone commented to be extremely buttery and creamy. Also, my fish was almost cold. The staff seemed incredibly incompetent or untrained, for the setting. They seemed to swarm around the dining room in a disturbing manner - I saw 4-5 servers around a table far smaller than mine. They also almost tipped various glasses over several times, when returning the wine bottle back to the center of the table, clearing the bread crumbs, etc.
The waiter proved how little he was paying attention to my dietary restrictions by looking extremely surprised when I asked him if there was any dessert I could have. He did at least accomodate me there by having the pastry chef create a grapefruit soup/orange sorbet for me, but had forgotten about it a minute later when he was taking down the orders.
Given the amount of the bill, I certainly would have hoped for better service. It was a Thursday night, and they were ~75% full. As for the other dishes everyone else in my party had, the overwhelming comment was that the sauce was too heavy and drowned out the flavor of the fish. BTW, the tuna and foie gras entree seemed to be the best choice.

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