Mc Ewan's latest is open and I recently joined friends for dinner. The interior design is striking and provides ambiance in the main dining area, however, the bar was empty and univiting. Key attractions are a glass-fronted sausage and proscuitto vitrine, private dining room, open kitchen, lots of eager chefs and a feature pizza oven.
Food quality is McEwan-worthy: good Italian fare, though nothing really exciting or memorable. Menu offers pastas and pizzas with a good range of starters, limited selection of main courses with sides at extra charge, this can make a main course expensive to easily move into the $40 bracket. Salumi selection platter at $ 28 is also costly and meagre: expect a per person cost of around $100 with about 1/2 bottle of wine.
Service suffers typical opening symptoms: product/menu knowledge poor and service not co-ordinated. Why can't servers get organised and know who gets what: why should guests have to claim 'Me' when a plate is shoved across the table with the question 'lamb'? This is particularly offensive when then faced with a suggested service charge of 15-20%, dare not to give less........
Surprising to note that four days into opening the master chef was notably absent . . . would have thought that the first few days are crucial for success and repeat business. The restaurant was half-full throughout the evening; followed the meal with a night cap at Joey's to find it full . . .
Verdict Fabbrica: victim of the old price-value miscalculation syndrome . . . I won't be racing back.
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