A group of 6 of us went to Fiamma last night, and I can honestly say, I don't remember the last time I had a meal that bad. We arrived on time for our 8pm reservation, and our table wasn't ready yet. The people at "our" table had the check but were in no hurry to leave. I have no issue waiting for a table, especially on a busy Saturday night, but there isn't really good place to wait there. Still, no problem. We sat after 8:30. Other members of our group were definitely getting hungry.
While we waited, the bartender ( who would later be our waitress) admitted to the men in our group that they were "a bit short-staffed". That should've been a warning sign. My husband asked them to please put in a Lobster Manicotti for him, because he was sure that was what he wanted for dinner, and they only had one left. He was assured it would be his.
When we finally sat down, it took some time to be able to order, and when we did, a number of things were already sold out. Including the lobster manicotti that my husband had asked for. She forgot. He was really disappointed. They were also out of the monkfish with crab, the pappardelle with lamb polpettini and a few other dishes we had been eyeing. A major bummer. The guys all ordered chicken parm or veal parm b/c they couldn't think of what else might appeal to them after all the other dishes they wanted being gone.
For appetizers, 3 of us got the fresh mozzarella and tomato and I got the octopus and chick pea salad. It came one at a time. The mozzarella came with very little tomato. My friend thought about asking for more. My octopus dish looked like a burnt tentacle tossed on a plate with some chick peas and oil. The presentation was- well, actually there was ZERO presentation. I sawed at the octopus while my friend looked on and after one bite, I sent it back. It was tough and dry. The waitress said, " Hmmm. It's fresh, but I'll take it off the bill.".
There was about a 45 minute gap between appetizers and dinner. We had already eaten 2 baskets of bread. My friend and I ordered the halibut with speck, sauteed potatoes and sage butter. Another friend ordered the fillet of sole with zucchini. The guys all ordered parm.
My food came first. Again, ZERO presentation. It looked flung onto the plate. It was piece of fish in a pool of oil with some sad flecks of speck on top and 3 slices of potato. The rest of food slowly made its way to us. We had to ask 3 times for silverware. I finally got up to get it.
My other friend her dish reminded her of the fishsticks she serves her sons. It was 2 thin pieces of fish on the plate and a bit of zucchini. The parms looked like they had been turned upside down. Dumped onto the plate. And my husband's was luke-warm and gummy. Definitely under a heat lamp. The side salad that came with it looked like it came from a school cafeteria.
My fish tasted of speck flavored oil. It was so unappealing that I told the waitress when she asked how everything was. I said, " I'm sorry but this is really bad. It's swimming in oil.". Her reply was, " It's ok. It's not for everyone.". ?????
The women picked at their food. The men ate their's because they were starving, but they didn't enjoy it. I wanted to ask for the manager or someone, but my husband begged me not. He was so disgusted, he just wanted to leave. We joked about going down the street to get Smashburger or something because we basically hadn't had dinner. I ate bread and wine for dinner.
I don't understand what happened. How could a place that is so raved about and well-reviewed fail so miserably on so many levels- service, taste, presentation, quality...I am completely baffled. If I hadn't been with 5 other people who felt the same way, I'd think maybe it was just me.
Suffice it to say, it goes down as one of the worst dining experiences I've had in ages and there's no way I'd bother to return.
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