Arte Pasta and Arte Around the Corner (the cafe version of this restaurant) recently closed and it's quite clear that Arte Cafe will soon follow. I'm actually sorry to say this.
I live less than 2 blocks from Arte Cafe for the past 10+ years. Decent Italian food is difficult to find. Although this place does not serve amazing food, it definitely suffices for a quick dinner on a cold and rainy evening when one does not feel like traveling.
I sort of forgot about this place for several years for some unknown reason but recently began visiting it again on a nearly weekly basis for the past 6+ months. No complaints. Everything is decent.
Tonight was a major disappointment. First they changed the menu beginning tonight. So my favorite pasta dish is gone - no more penne with vodka sauce, chicken and sun dried tomato. Shocking bc I would think this was one of the most popular dishes. I think it's a sign they are in financial difficulty and can no longer afford the sun dried tomatoes and chicken (yes, chicken).
Okay. I stared at the menu unable to find anything but I didn't want to be rude. I ordered the Rigatoni Siciliana without the eggplant.
The dish was truly half empty and the pasta was COLD. Really. No exaggeration. I promise it wasn't even lukewarm. So I called the waitress over to politely ask whether the dish was supposed to be served cold. "Okay, I'm Italian-American but maybe there is something I don't know." She told me it may be bc the ricotta salata is usually served over it warm. Ok. Wait . But the salata was sitting in a bowl to the side. I didn't ask for them to prepare it that way. I didn't even say this though. I just asked if they could please make it hot. Were they too lazy to warm up the pasta? I didn't wait long for the food and there were only 3 other tables taken in the entire place, two of those tables only had 1 person each who were already leaving.
So they warmed it up and brought it back to me lukewarm. I promise. No exaggeration . Wow. That's really nerve. I really should have gotten up but I didn't for some unknown reason. When the waitress asked me how it was, I didn;t even tell her bc I felt this was truly a lost cause. I told her that I wasn't even gonna think about it. I was just going to eat it, pay and then leave.
It didn't taste bad although the ricotta was 100% tasteless.
$17 for this dish. I left them $20 and darted out which was extremely kind and generous. I won't be returning there again and I also won't give them more than 4-6 months. Shame.