During my holiday visit to SA, my family made reservations for Biga OTB. We had gone to La Reve last time we were in town and my usual favorite, The Lodge, was closed for the holidays. I had only been to the new Biga location once, many years ago and wasn't sure what to expect. To sum up the whole experience it was a big disappointment and frankly not worth the money.
A family member had made the reservations weeks in advance and had requested a table by the window or behind a curtain for privacy. What we received was a table that overlooked the bar, with only 2 out of 6 in our party able to view some sort of window that was in no way close to us. We were seated and then waited an unnecessary amount of time to receive menus. Our waiter came by and asked if we had been before, we all said we had but he proceeded to go into his spiel about the restaurant and the chef, which we all knew, and was clearly not listening to his table.
My SO ordered the Penfold's Rawson's Retreat Chardonnay for our first bottle of wine. Quite to our surprise, when the waiter brought it out and poured (showing it to my father, who hadn't ordered it), the wine was a merlot. The waiter became defensive at the mixup and told us that there was a chardonnay and a merlot with the same name... how were we to know? Isn't he the one that should be familiar with the list?
Appetizers were the best part of the meal. My foie gras was more than the usual portion I get at NYC restaurants. My SO's butternut soup was tasty as well. For entree I ordered the Close-to-bouillebase and was delighted with the fresh seafood selection, but the broth was tasteless and the saffaron mayonaise that accompanied the dish came with absoltely no explaination of how it should be used to enhance the dish. My sisters' rib eye came without the onion rings (which were a signature appetizer at the old location) and all dishes came with no explaination. My SO enjoyed his venison and my mother's lamb was very good as well. We ordered the Rex Hill Pinot Noir and that paired beautifully with all the dishes though.
For dessert we ordered the whiskey chocolate cake (yuck) and the Banana Crepes (yum). When the waiter brought the dessert menus he said nothing about the kitchen being out of any items, but when my sister ordered the creme brulee he said they had run out of it earlier.
In short, the ambiance and service was lacking to say the least. We saw the waiter fawn over his other tables, but for some particular reason we were treated rudely and he was unprofessional in his approach. Until this visit my family had been fairly regular patrons but not anymore. And I certainly will not go back during my visits to SA.
If you don't necessarily care about ambiance, serivce, or how much you pay, and can get decent entree recommendations, go just for the food. If you'd rather have a better overall experience (serivce, ambiance, food) go to La Reve or the Lodge. The $30+ entrees aren't worth it. Biga OTB overrated and the service is close to abysmal. Before I went someone compared Biga OTB to a Buick, and I second that, but a Buick with too much hype for what it delivers.
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