By this I mean what time of day and day of the week. My girlfriend loves the gnochhi with butter and sage sauce at a neighborhood-y italian place (Noodle Pudding in Brooklyn Heights). We have gone at various times and days of the week and her opinion: when the restaurant is crowded and busy, the food quality dips significantly. The worst was a Friday night at around 8:45 - prime NYC dining out period. The sauce for her pasta just doesn't cohere as well as it normally does and the gnocchi isn't cooked quite as perfectly. I tend to order the specials and so I haven't been able to judge quite as well (lack of a baseline), but this led me to wonder whether people think their favorite restaurants do better under mob scene conditions or whether the kitchens get overwhelmed??? Are there any hints that I should be looking for so I can avoid misfires due to a harried staff unable to cope with the crush?