Chowhound Presents: Table Talk with Lidia Bastianich Chef, Author, Owner of Felidia

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Restaurants & Bars 10

Modus Ristorante

millygirl | Jan 29, 2012 09:15 AM

We tried this place last night. Hate to say it but big mistake. What a waste of space and a beautiful gleaming kitchen. The dining room is quite nice too. Spacious and comfortable.

Now on to the negative -

We arrive through the street side entrance. I hear a hello coming from somewhere and it took me a few seconds to find the source. No wonder, honest mistake. The Hostess desk is situated about 45 feet from the door. Already having a WTF moment - not a good sign. The Hostess has a little bit of attitude but we laugh it off and proceed to our table happy to be out celebrating with good friends.

The room, as I said, is lovely. Very Centro-ish, if you like that kind of thing.

We're a 4 top. Cocktails were fine, adequate wine list, okay bread basket. On the food and here's where things start to decline.

Appetizers - bibb and radicchio salad with apple. Just as it sounds. Picture these ingredients dumped in to soup bowl, with thick slices of apple layered on top. Belch. Some other salad with tomato and a tuna tartare, which was the best item of the evening. Veal carpaccio, 2nd best item of the night.

Mains - honestly the menu was so uninspired. 2 of us went with the house special - fresh raviolli in what was supposed to be buffalo mozzeralla, 1 black cod and 1 scallop dish. Both the pasta and cod were boring and tasteless. Mediocre would be an exaggeration. I will say that the cod was properly cooked, but tasteless.

The scallops - big fail. Rubbery, boring and gritty. When our server asked how the meal was Mr. MG mentioned that his scallops were gritty. She asked if he wanted to send them back and he declined. She said that she would tell the chef and we carried on with our meal.

Deserts - some sorbets, goat cheesecake, and banana fritters. Whatever. By this time we have adopted the attitude of the chef. Let's just get this meal over with.

Honestly thinking back about last night - it was so unmemorable. I am certain (and hopeful) this will be our worst meal of the year.

A couple of little side bars which I think say a lot -

The menu is typed on a plain legal sheet of paper - no logo - no personality. When I ask our server if it changes - thinking this must be a daily - she says "oh yes, every couple of months we change it". chuckle chuckle

A guest at the next table asks the same server if the chicken is free range. She has to go back to the kitchen to find out. Duh!!! In this setting, at these prices?? I'm sorry they should know.

After we have settled our bill Mr. MG asks server if she mentioned the scallops to the chef. She replies "oh yes, I did. He said he was sorry, they did their best but some must have been missed>. She did not bother to report back to us because he did not send it back.

One other funny note. An owner is working the floor . Mr MG points out that he is one of the owners. Naturally I say, and I know this because he is the only allowed to wear jeans, everyone else is in uniform. Huh? Is this appropriate - NO but hey, he's the owner. Here's a hint....why not put a jacket on to at least give the impression that you care.

I know I must sound very picky at this point but little things like this get my attention. Like said Hostess in LBD with the arm holes cut low. So low that her entire bra is showing. Remember Flashdance? Is it appropriate for this type of resto - again NO.

Said owner is delivering menus to tables. Does he stop to ask if we, or anyone else for that matter, are enjoying our meal? Not a chance. Can't say I blame him on that one.

Everything about the place lacks all that a restaurant should have - personality, passion, love, creativity.

I believe I had read somewhere that Chef Woods has come out of retirement and all I have to say is REALLY, WHEN??

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