Chowhound Presents: Table Talk with Tyler Florence | Ask Your Questions Now ›

Restaurants & Bars

Manhattan

A Voce -- good food, terrible service (long)

Share:

Restaurants & Bars

A Voce -- good food, terrible service (long)

amyknyc | May 22, 2006 12:25 PM

Four of us went to A Voce on Saturday night and while I liked the food overall, the service was very strange and downright terrible at some points.

We were seated promptly but then were left with menus and no sign of our waiter for nearly 20 mins. We were seated right in front of the serving station, so finally my friend just leaned over and asked two waiters (who had been standing there chatting) if we could order. They seemed offended that we had just interrupted them. We ordered a bunch of appetizers and I picked the black bass as my entree and asked what kind of seafood was in the broth. I was told it was clam-based with shrimp dumplings. I am allergic to mussels, but since they didn't mention mussels in the description I figured I was safe. In retrospect I should have asked specifically, but didn't.

While we waited for appetizers I must have asked 3 times for bread. I'm nearly 8 months pregnant, and by that time was really hungry and each time I flagged down the waiter he made this annoyed face at me and gave different excuses for why there was no bread (they're having problems toasting it, was my favorite one), while tables all around us were getting bread. It was really odd. Finally our apps arrived -- the duck meatballs were indeed fantastic, as were the asparagus with egg. We also passed around two half-orders of pasta, the rigatoni and the gnocci, which were my favorite pasta of the night. Still, no bread.... oh well.

Our main courses came and I took a few bites of the bass dish before realizing that there were mussels in it. I looked and looked for our waiter (who never once stopped at our table to see how the food was) and finally flagged down someone else and explained that I was allergic to mussels and didn't realize they were in the dish. I asked if there was any way to get something else. At this point our waiter finally appeared, took the dish, and said very snottily "I told you there were mussels in it." I was stunned. He handed me a menu and pointed to the description of the dish and said, "See, shellfish broth. what did you think that meant?" I didn't want to cause a scene so I just asked if I could have the lamb pappardelle instead and he stalked off. The pasta was great and came very quickly, but the whole experience was so such a put-off.

Oh, they brought us bread as they were clearing our main course. And the bass appeared on our bill and we had to send it back asking for it to be removed. Overall, good food but not a great meal.

Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound