Well, I cant say I blame Jim, because I havent been back since I brought some friends there back about the same time Jim went. I came off with a pretty much identical feeling that last time.
I really -did- like the place once, and I had only made my first visit a year or so ago. Rachel and I went there about 3 or 4 times until our "bad" visit (I think I may have even posted about it here), and until then I really thought the food was good. In particular I think they made a great chicken parmigian, and their pasta fagioli was tops (pig fat or not, I'm a pasta fagioli fiend and I know a good minestre when I taste one). I especially liked their pasta with the "segreto" sauce.
yeah, the coffee service was always a bit weird with that quaint little italian coffee pot and the surly old waiters "NO! WE DONT HAVE ESPRESSO!" but there was a point when that place did deserve the crowds it gets.