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Cucina - new chef, lousy experience

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Cucina - new chef, lousy experience

Nina Wugmeister | Apr 20, 2002 10:54 PM

Was eager to go back to Cucina (where I had been many times over the years) since the arrival of the new chef and supposedly new management. Had a reservation for 7:45, got seated at 8:35. Barely an apology, no drink bought for us, etc. Hostess kept rolling her eyes every time we asked what was happening and responded with a "can't get the people outta here" or some such thing. Once we were told it would be 5 more minutes, and it was actually 15 more minutes.

We sat down, waited at least 5 minutes for a waiter, who had no idea what sweet wines (which my companion wanted) or sherries they served, and had to go check. Took 10 minutes to come back, during which time we saw him serve 2 other tables. Finally tells us, takes a drink order. Still no bread, no water. And so it went.

The food: I had a salad, caeser-esque - good, not particularly "authentic" caeser, but good. Fresh anchovies. Main course was very good - seared sea bass with artichokes in a light creamy sauce. Nothing comes with sides - they're ordered separately and were overpriced (potatoes for $8, for example). My dessert was bad - very dried out, overbaked chocolate cake with tasteless pistachio icecream and a hazelnut "foam" which barely existed.

The staff seemed harried and nervous and in a big big rush every time they deigned to stop by. We had to ask for more bread and water refills, more than once.

Not going back there anytime soon.

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