Just got back from a dinner at A Voce, and felt the need to add to the many reviews posted here, only this time with a warning not to bother.
Simply put, the service is nice, the room is nice (if you don't notice the foam coming out of the ripped cushion at the corner of the bench)... but food was absolutely bland. Italian? Uh, if they say so.
The Pork loin special arrived with red cabbage, and was smoked to taste like sweetened ham. Rolf's would hav done a better job with the dish. It was baffling. The Gnoochi were rolled so small that the texture was more like little rubber pellets with unseasoned ground meat tossed on for wjat was billed as a lamb bolognse. It tasted microwaved, and fast food honestly. The menu mentioned mint as an ingredient with the Gnoochi, but let's just say you have to have fine tuned taste buds to notice it. The ricotta smeared on top helped, but all in all this wasn't the type of dish a trained chef should be serving. It wasn't understated so much as amature. Something you would make at home while watching the Food Channel, and then having to apologize to your guests for not getting it right. Putting this on a menu for more then $15 is a crime. I have a hard time believing anyone looking for an Italian meal would be satisfied with this.
Worse, the Brocolli rabe was served in a pool of water, without the garlic or oregano described in the menu. It wasn't cooked properly, so it was unedible.
The table next to us had obviously read all the reviews and were desperately trying hard to have this 3-star dining experience, complete with different wine for each course.... but they ended up ordering the same dishes we did, and couldn't force excitement by the time they got to the entrees. It was reassuring to know it wasn't just our servings, the place is just crummy.
The duck meatballs were yummy, but not worth the trip. The polenta sticks were the best thing they served, but weren't any better then what a $10 a dish pasta joint would sell. That's how I would describe this place.
If they were just a cheapie but nice little Italiam establishment in the neighborhood, it would be fine... but even then, I still wouldn't go back. I kind of get the feeling the chef's just trying to cash in on the Batali craze or something. Th abundance of duck dishes indicates he's trying to spread his menu for maximum profit. Again, I have a hard time understanding how the people giving this rave reviews are talking about the same place.
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