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My Experience at Osteria


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My Experience at Osteria

saturninus | Aug 31, 2007 06:30 AM

I wanted to follow up on a negative experience I mentioned in another post about my dining experience at Osteria about 2 months ago.

I did not post about this originally because I was under the impression one of the people I dined with was calling to complain, but I believe she never did and too much time has passed.

I realize that this post would be more useful if I wrote my review after complaining to the manager, but since I did speak to one of the managers that evening, I feel the post is still valid.

We arrived for our reservation about 15 minutes early, and were delighted to hear they could seat us. We expected to have to have a drink at the bar first, which we did not mind at all. We were seating in a back room that lacked ambiance. There was very little decoration or personality, and the room was empty. When our server arrived, we asked as kindly as possible if it would be possible to move to the main room, we didn't mind if we would have to wait longer. (It was a special occasion and we were looking for something more lively and inviting, especially since we don't often go out and spend a lot on meals)

She got a manager, and they said it would not be a problem at all. We could go to the bar and get a table in about 20 minutes.

All was well at the bar, we ordered cocktails and wine, all expertly chosen and enjoyed our time chatting.

When our table was ready, we sat down and our server came over and told us about the specials. The menu looked lovely. When we were ready to order new glasses of wine, our server immedietly reccomended the sommolier come by and make reccomendations that will work with our meal. One of my companions appreciated the offer, and the sommolier went to bring her a small sample of wine based on what she was looking for. Unfortuantely, she wasn't crazy about it, so she asked if she could try one more. She enjoyed the second wine and ordered it, but the sommolier acted as if she was being unreasonable and rude. Normally, I am overly polite and just take what is first offered, even if I am not crazy about it. But as a sommolier, is it that big of a deal to offer a second small sample? It wasn't even as if we were bothering our server asking her to do a million things when she needs to take food orders from the other tables. Her job is to assist tables in chosing wines. It seemed like a reasonable request.

But we moved on. The sommolier was annoyed but we were there to have a lovely time. We all ordered, and two of my companions ordered a $36 special - a 1/2 pound of lobster and pasta.

Appetizers came and were delicious, although the antipasta is charged per person and was not a lot of food.

When the entree came, the two companions that ordered the lobster dish looked suprised. They were literarly fishing around to find lobster. Soon, the four of us were trying to assist, to try to find the lobster because we were so afraid of asking for the server.

All in all, pieces that add up to about 1/2 the size of my tiny palm were found. We did not ask for the server or even steal glances across the room to find her. She stopped back to see how things were and we said everything was very good, and they hated to complain, but there was barely any lobster in the pasta.

Immedietly she became very annoyed. She pointed to a small piece and said "There it is!"

My companions said they understood, but they have ordered lobster many times in their lives and 1/2 a pound never looked so small.

She said there was nothing they could do and if they wanted she would get the manager.

What were we to do? We said OK.

The manager arrived and said basically the same thing. He said they weight each lobster and it is always 1/2 a pound.

My companions decided they had to let it go and just ate.

Then things became incredibly embarassing. I was facing the room and saw our server, the manager, the sommolier and the bartender talking and pointing at us. I felt like that "nightmare" table, like I was in some kind of Twilight Zone episode. I always consider myself to be a great restaurant customer. I myself worked in the industry for two years. I know what they deal with.

When the check arrived it was tossed at us. She did not look our way at all, just got close to the table and tossed it in the center.

We paid, but only left a 15% tip, which is something we never do.

So that was my experience. I realize that perhaps if I had called we would have received an apology. Obviously to many this is an amazing restaurant. But I can't return. We spent over $260 there (not including tip) and I have received better service for a lot less.

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