I'm not a big fan of restaurant week but each year it coincides with my anniversary and gives me me an excuse for lunch with my spouse. Because the lunches are only $20 we don't have to invest much in the RW experience....This year we decided to try Le Castagne. Arriving on time for a 12:15 reservation the place was practically full. Most of the diners were in business suits. This is a "white tablecloth" restaurant located on a sort of seedy block of Chestnut St. A traditional Italian menu is offered, and for RW you get to choose an appetizer or pasta for course 1, entree for course 2, and course 3 is a standard dessert plate, no choice.
Our lunch didn't start well as we were seated and waited 10 minutes to even be given a menu. Service throughout our meal was slow and uncoordinated, and the wait staff were not very polished. Bread came without butter, for instance. For the first course, we had insalata rustica (a very tasty salad containing grilled eggplant and sliced of potatoes with mesclun greens) and rigatoni alla boscaiola ( a house specialty our server recommended, with sausage and cream sauce, was kind of heavy for an appetizer serving, tasted OK but nothing to write home about). No fresh ground pepper was offered for the salad, and no grated cheese for the pasta, though I later noticed adjoining tables being offered these items.
For main courses, we chose two veal dishes- Vitello alla Milanese was a very hearty portion and the most delicious thing we ate. The veal piccata was just ordinary by comparison and a much smaller portion.
The dessert plate contained a canolli, small cream puff, and some fruit. All very tasty, though I'm not a big cannoli fan, I liked the cannoli which was a little unique with a cinammon flavored pastry.
From start to finish it took us more than 1 hour and a half to get through lunch. I noticed other parties were getting impatient for their desserts and checks, we were not the only ones. Since the dessert course was standard, I'm not sure what the hold up could have been.
Considering the slow service, this was just an OK lunch all in all. It was a lot of food for the money, and I wasn't hungry for dinner later.
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