My wife and I had an early dinner at Sola on Saturday night. The restaurant was full by the time we left. The food was tasty as usual (this was our 5th time there) but it is not keeping up with the price. We shared a seafood special appetizer that included four small plates: an oyster in a vinagrette, sea urchin in blood orange sauce, hamachi with kumquat, and peeky crab salad/cake. While visually pretty, the urchin sauce was bitter and the oyster was tasteless. The crab and hamachi were tasty. Not a good value for $16. My wife had the striped bass and I had the monkfish. The striped bass was good and the risotto it sat on was very good (full of shrimp and peas). My monkfish was okay. However, I must note that for $28 and $26 dollars respectively, the fish portions were very small. I maybe had 4 to 5 bites of monkfish attached to a large center bone.
Service was spotty. Once the restaurant got busy, our waitress pretty much ignored us. We had to ask the busboy to take our payment for the check (credit card). We also had to ask the busboy to return our remaining wine which was in an ice bucket a few tables away against the wall.
Here is the rub...several months ago we purchased a restaurant.com certificate for Sola. This gives you $25 towards food for a $10 purchase price. The certificates are good for 12 months after purchase and if you want to use it on a Saturday you must be at Sola before 6:30 PM. We made an early reservation in order to use the certificate. After we ordered and told the server we had the certificate, she told us that they no longer accept them and to take it up with restaurant.com. She said that they lose money on these and walked away. I also asked the hostess about this and said that they should honor existing certificates but she just said that they stopped taking them at the end of 2007. No apologies were offered and no other offers (even a modest one) were made. On principle, we should have left at this point (and yes we can afford full prices, but that is not the point). Personally, this is bad business. When Sola agreed to participate in restaurant.com, I'm sure they were told that the certificates were valid for 12 months after purchase. It is fine for Sola to decide not to offer more certificates through restaurant.com, but they should honor the ones out there. Sola was essentially saying, we're busy enough now that we don't have to honor these. Restaurant.com keeps track of who purchases certificates and we could have been informed prior to using it that they were no longer accepted. We felt like Sola snubbed us, offered no apology and no compensation of any kind. Also, we felt like the hostess ignored us on the way out, she was at the hostess stand while we got our coats and did not say goodbye or ask us how our dinner was (and no, she was not on the phone at the time).
Bottom line...we will not be going back to Sola.