Where to begin?
After finding our reservation for dinner, the pretty but vacant hostess led us to two seats on an ALREADY occupied sofa near the curb.
We politely declined and said we would rather wait for a table (don't mind me, I don't like to balance my dinner on my lap). She seemed flummoxed by our request.
Thirty minutes later...
As we were being led to our table in the interior of the restaurant, a woman who had already dined said to us, "Don't eat here." Always a fine sign of things to come.
We were seated in the weirdest seats- two giant red plastic chairs ( the only ones of their kind) that did not exactly fit the table. My dining companion and I had to awkwardly reconfigure the table and chairs so that there was some semblance of a fit and we could center ourselves.
Only when we were situated did we notice the jagged piece of wood on the side of our table. We had to carefully readjust ourselves once again in order to avoid getting splinters.
We waited patiently for our waiter to appear and order water. This only took 30 minutes.
Finally, the waiter appeared and we were able to order two glasses of wine and water. We had hoped to ask questions about the menu but he turned on his heel and left before we could ask for recs. When he approached again, he didn't make eye contact and gruffly asked what we wanted.
Since the Top 40 was ear splitting, I just decided to order without asking questions. Also, my dining companion and I sensed he hated us, hated being there, and would rather go back to his line of work euthanizing animals in Germany. (Here, I am taking liberties but this would be a good job for him.)
We had our first appetizers, a very greasy, bread-crumby artichoke and a salumi platter. Both were mediocre.
Bread was finally brought and it was actually quite tasty. The salumi platter had three types of meat and a rather glum serving of cheeses cut into bite size squares and served with an unidentifiable sour conserve, honey and grapes that were sweetened and treacly.
Seated next to us during the appetizer course were two women I can only assume had gotten off their first shift on Collins Avenue. The moment they came in, the manager or one of the owners (hard to say since there were several men with slicked back hair in suits who walked around pretending to be very, very busy) doted on them. They had shots delivered immediately followed by at least three rounds of Long Island Iced teas.
Our table became even less serviced when these ladies sat down. The manager or owner sat down with them and read them the entire menu. (We were not clear if they could read.) They bobbled up and down to Rihanna and Fifty Cent songs and our Teutonic waiter actually kept checking on them. At this point, we were looking imploringly around, hoping for our entree, a refill of wine, a smile. Anything, really.
When my companion's filet arrived, my pizza was no where to be found. It took an additional twenty minutes for my pizza (a salty Sicilian style eggplant pizza) to reach the table. Once there, the busser had no idea where to put it and actually spent the next five minutes trying to make sure the nearby table of two people making out wouldn't accidentally hit it with an elbow.
Finally, he found space and then discovered I had no plate. Awesome.
I could go on and on but I won't. Dinner took three hours. It was so mediocre. Prices are too high. The scene is cheesy and ridiculous. The place lacks class and the food lacks substance. The music is way too loud and the management seems to only want to please you if you can work a pole.
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