Got a 9:30 reservation at the last minute. I love Top Chef and I've never had a chance yet to go to Colicchio's NY restaurants, so I was excited about the opening of this one. We were taken to a banquette where a sleazy looking guy was perched next to an elderly couple - I had to wait a few moments for him to realize that I wanted to sit down on the banquette. Sleazy guy stood next to my husband's chair and continued talking to the couple. He was offering them dessert - maybe's he's the GM. Meanwhile, no one offers us menus, water, nothing. To go all Larry David about it - it's nice that the sleazy GM is taking such good care of the elderly couple, but I'm 40 and I've got decades more dining ahead of me, so maybe somebody could acknowledge my existence here so I'll want to come back? We asked a busboy to get our waiter - nothing. Finally we flag someone down to bring us menus, but he never returns. We asked the hostess to find our waiter - at this point we had sat for 10 minutes. Nobody comes. A few more minutes later, we grab another waitress to use as pinch hitter - our is apparently too busy with other tables (and was someone we had never seen at all, not the one the gave us menus). We tell her we haven't looked at the menu because we were seriously thinikng about leaving and going to try Pink Taco. What was really annoying is that the waiter's station was right behind us, so we could hear people standing around gabbing, not paying any attention to us.
The food was good but very rich. We started with the pork - huge portion, glad we only got one appetizer. They suggest one starter, one main, and one or two sides per person. We decided to share on main -the short ribs, and 4 sides. It was a lot of food. The waitress steered us away from the gratins and suggested the grits - which were terrific. We also had the gnocchi, brussel sprouts, and peas. If you love mushrooms, they have a huge selection in the sides.
I expected more from Colicchio. When you judge others, you better walk the talk. He would have reamed them on the show for the service we got. I think Mario does the best job of all the celebrity chefs - I've never had a bad time at his places.
When we left, sleazy GM was sitting next to two cute girls at the bar. I don't know if he is actually the GM, but he's definitely managerial staff, he looks like a drug dealer, and he obviously doesn't care about good service. A real turn-off.