I met up with a friend for dinner last night, and we decided to try Grilled Cheese Night at Campanile. Neither of us had ever been to the restaurant before, but we had heard a lot of good things and the sandwiches sounded like fun (I know this has been covered before on this board). We made a reservation for 9:00 and showed up to the restaurant at five to - place was packed, loud, and so hot we were literally sweating. Hostess told us it would be just a few minutes, so we went to have a drink at the bar. The bartender there did her best to upsell us, informing us that there were no half bottles below $40 (not true, incidentally). FORTY minutes later we were called to our table. I understand that sometimes reservations can't be accomodated immediately, but at a restaurant as "nice" as Campanile isn't it customary to at least inform the customer what's going on every fifteen minutes or so? The staff made no attempt to talk to us whatsoever. Not a good start.
Finally we got seated and our waitress took our orders, etc. That was more or less the last we saw of her until our bill came - over ninety minutes later. All we ordered was a single appetizer and sandwiches (which took FOREVER), so it's not like we were going for a drawn-out dining experience. We literally did not see our waitress again until we were ready to go, and she processed our bill without any hint of a smile.
My question is, is this kind of service customary at Campanile? The food was very good (albeit overpriced) and I had hoped to come for a special occasion, but I can't see myself spending $150 on dinner in a cramped, cacophonous, sweaty space where the staff doesn't acknowledge my presence. Was this some sort of aberration, a normal Thursday night, or just an average experience at Campanile regardless?
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