Four of us went to Sage last night to celebrate a birthday -- our first time at the South End location. First we had a drink at the bar (most memorable was a bitter campari drink on their cocktail menu) and shared a light, smoky, crisp pizza.
We moved to our table, and service started off impeccably. I ordered the soup and the fazoleti. Soup was a sunchoke puree with crabmeat; I don’t even know what a sunchoke is but it was scrumptious – a cross between artichoke and parsnip. The veal and spinach fazoleti was described by our server as a big ravioli but it more closely resembled crespelle, Italian crepes. So good, so good.
I tasted a bit of my DC’s gnocchi, and it continues to be the best in town. Not just light and airy, but imbued with all the surrounding flavors in the dish.
Then we ordered a cheese plate for dessert. And we waited. Twenty minutes passed and we finally managed to catch our server’s eye. When we told her our cheese plate was taking an inordinate time to come out, she scowled, said OK, and literally turned away from us without another word. No “sorry”; no “I’ll check on that for you”. The restaurant was packed by then and we understood that she was busy but we would have appreciated some simple courtesy.
After another 5 minutes the manager finally brought out the cheeses. When we commented that we had been waiting a long time, here was his reply: “It’s artisanal cheese; it takes time to slice it.” This was plainly an asinine remark, when a “sorry, we’re backed up” would have satisfied us.
The food was uniformly yummy. The first 2 courses were well paced. The new space is lovely. But Sage needs to work on the service and attitude.