I heard a lot about this place and I've seen people in line waiting to get in. I decided to try it out one Saturday night.
We ordered a brick oven pizza (margherita style), sauteed escarole and white bean sides and the broiled salmon. We ordered a house Merlot and bottled beer as well. My opinion...
The salmon was a fresh, generous portion that was perfectly cooked (as ordered). The escarole side was heavily salted and soupy - portion size could have been larger but I tend to cook very large vegetable side portions at home and my expectations may have become unreasonable as of late. The pizza was absoltely dreadful - a shock considering the functional brick oven. The dough was mazzoh-like and chalky. The sauce was dried and thin and sparse to non-existent in a few places. The cheese was marginal. And the pizza was delivered at room temperatture, resulting in an exprience that was akind to ingesting a bag of white flour.
The service was well intentioned and friendly but haphazzard and uncannily absent at the most inopportune times: It's very nice that you ask me if everything is OK, but could you please do that shortly after dinner has been served and I've had a chance to sample it? Please don't bother asking me after the plates are largely bare and you're inquiring about our desert selection.
The house merlot was quite good - the beer selection was limited and unimaginative. The desert was forgettable.
As far as the ambiance was concerned: be prepared to snuggle up next to your neighbor, but hey, this is NYC and if you got a problem with that at a popular mid-priced restaurant, then by all means go somewhere else. They won't miss you and neither will Mediterraneo.
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