I don't usually want to damage a restaurant, but Trattoria La Siciliana does not deserve to maintain its current popularity when it makes its customers feel expendable and ignored.
Our appalling evening began when the hostess could not estimate the wait time. Instead, she invited us to wait at their indoor bench and "enjoy some free wine." The indoor bench turned out to be a crowded sopt facing a stressfully overworked kitchen. Free wine never materialized.
After a half hour we became concerned that we had been forgotten, but finally the hostess found us, brought us to a claustrophobic table where the din was defeaning, and explained the following UNFORGIVEABLE policy:
Customers cannot order their own entrees. Instead, they must choose an entree to share between two people for double the price. Otherwise, the entrees will be brought out at completely separate times because the kitchen doesn't have capacity (i.e. burners) to cook that many distinct dishes. (Then why, you may wonder, do they open a restaurant? Or refuse to print this cockamamey policy on menus?)
We were shocked and annoyed, but our annoyance was only doubled because we had already invested 40 minutes wait in this restaurant.
When a waiter finally passed by, I blew off steam & utter disappointment by telling him we had had to wait 40 minutes before learning about their strange ordering protocol and furthermore, we had never received our "free wine." For my troubles, I was rewarded with another explanation of "how the kitchen lacks capacity..." and zero understanding of/sympathy for my disappointment.
The service never got any better. We were finally eating an hour and a half after our arrival--a fact we know for sure because we felt glued to our watches. But by the time it arrived, the food didn't matter anyway...we had been so starved and bored that we had filled up on bread.
A very rewarding meal indeed. I don't usually wish ill upon a restaurant, but we were so mistreated I actually felt *disempowered*. By a restaurant. And to think this was a bday celebration!