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Unpleasant, shocking service at Incanto

elise h | May 30, 200511:10 PM

Earlier this week, I planned a reunion with 2 friends. I was so looking forward to good conversation and socializing while sharing a special meal. My out of town friend indicated that she would enjoy Italian cuisine, so I eagerly suggested Incanto.

Two of us ordered the house signature dish, braised pork shoulder. When the dishes arrived, they looked elegant. However, my pork “meat” was 95% skin and fat. The exterior skin sat on top of more skin and fat. After getting the waiter’s attention, I mentioned this to him. He hesitated. I had to justify myself by saying “the other pork shoulder looks nothing like this”. He said nothing and took the dish away. Later, I received a replacement dish with meat that did not look like my friend’s pork meat. It was stingy, but at least it was meat and edible. Perhaps it was pork, but not shoulder meat. At no point did the waiter offer an apology for the unacceptable dish.

The two of us who ordered the signature pork shoulder dish agreed that we thought it was okay, but not special. We both grew up in pork-loving households, so we’ve had braised pork shoulder prepared in various delicious ways.

When we asked for the check, there was a 5% service charge. We politely asked our waiter what this was. He said nothing, abruptly walked away, came back with the menu, pointed to text at the bottom, and walked away. The 5% service charge is for the kitchen staff to share and is separate from the tip.

We then noticed we were charged for 3 pork shoulders, while we ordered only 2. The third pork shoulder was the replacement dish. We politely pointed this out to the waiter and asked if he could check their records. He said nothing and walked away. A busboy came back and offered a corrected bill and the only apology of the evening. My friends were mature enough that they handled the entire situation with grace and tact. One of them observed that in her sister’s restaurant, her sister would have come out personally to apologize to her guests in this type of situation, comp the dish and a dessert.

It’s actually painful to recall this experience; the service was insulting. I hope no one else experiences this type of service at Incanto or anywhere else.

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