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Restaurants & Bars 2

Weekend report: Dolce, La Luna, Mamajuana's

Me | Aug 11, 200301:50 PM

1. Dolce: A lot of people sizing each other up. The decor is delicious--black leather tables and booths. The food was good. We started with a pesto gnocci and fig/proscuitto from the enoteca menu. Gnocci was an excellent consistency, but the pesto I expected to be more hearty, more present. It was a little watery and we had to ask for the fresh ground pepper, which the helper strangely offered for the figs. The proscuitto dish was better, the fig was stylishly served as an ornate flower served on a bed of tasty proscuitto. The flavor combination was fabulous. For the main courses, we had the filet and sea bass. I was impressed with the seabass, it was quite flavorful and served with greens. The filet was very nice also, a healthy medium rare portion. For dessert we shared tiramisu. It was a lovely dish with shaved white chocolate on top and espresso beans inside. Unfortunately, they didn't get the timing right on delivering my espresso. I specificially asked for it to be served with the dessert. So I was stuck drinking cold espresso with the tiramisu. I would have sent it back but I imagine that I wouldn't have seen the waiter again. We saw other servers being more attentive. Our waiter was constantly MIA. He was good, if a little rushed, when he was around, but he was rarely around. Our water glass went unfilled all night. I think sometimes they think you are there for the eye candy and the food is secondary, which was not at all the case with us. Oh well. Overall I think it was worth it to go there once, but I would not return. So many better places.

2. La Luna: We had high hopes for this place. It looked so charming from the street and the open kitchen was a pleasant surprise. We were seated immediately and ordered our wine, Zenato Pinot Grigio and Santa Margherita Chardonnay. The appetizers were a mix. The carpaccio was sticky and strangely sauced. The goat cheese salad was nice, though the pedigree of the cheese I thought was questionable. The bad is that it was supposed to come with walnuts but we uncovered more of a nut medley, which would have been ok had my dining companion not been deathly allergic to Brazil nuts. Fortunately, she only got a shaving of one, which made her skin and mouth itch but didn't cause her throat to close up. We brought this up to the waitress, but she insisted the nut in question was only "a different kind of walnut." And that was after I pointed out the seriousness of the situation. She was dismissive and defensive. That was bad enough, but then the entree came. It wasn't the one we ordered, and one bite revealed it to be very, very salty. How can you ruin simple linguini and clams? Awful. When I pointed out that it was not what we ordered, she insisted I was wrong and brought out the menu to "prove" it. At that point I'd had enough and stopped her to tell her that she had now mishandled two crucial points of our dinner, that her constant defensiveness was not appreciated, that they were lucky my friend did not eat the brazil nut because we'd be in the ER right now on their dime, etc. She offered to take the pasta off the bill, which we had only had one bite of. So generous. I said she could take that and anything else she saw fit. The manager ended up comping the entire meal. I will NEVER return. It's pricey for not-so-good quality.

3. Mama Juana's: so-so food. Ate a clam that tasted like feet. Spit it out into napkin, which I am usually loathe to do. They use frozen fruits. It's a tapas place but the concept of extra plates is lost on them. Service tries hard but isn't really skilled. Only dish worth ordering was the ceviche. The steak was ok, but could have been from sizzler.


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