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Upper East Side >
Caffe Buon Gusto
Posted by J&J on 08/16/2009
We were very excited to visit cafe buon gusto. The other reviews identified it as an excellent authentic italian restaurant where the food would be prepared as we like it: delicious but light (e.g. not covered in cream and butter as low-end italian restaurants do). Clean and well appointed, they have indoor and outdoor seating in front, but we opted for the garden instead. After being led down several narrow service hallways, we arrived at a cozy back garden with around 8 tables, candles and an overhead vine canopy. The appearance and atmosphere were both excellent. The service was also excellent. Our waiters were prompt, curteous and on-top of things. My water was constantly refilled, our courses served promptly, and we never waited a second for service. A+ on service no doubt. Unfortunately, the food did not match, and was disappointing to say the least. They started us out with a simple italian break basket which was fine, but not exceptional. We ordered a ricotta and fig bruschetta as an appetizer off their specials menu and a single glass of chianti for my wife. This is where the pain started... The ricotta and fig bruschetta ($6) was a total flop. They had taken a piece of sliced white bread (think Wonder), toasted it, and put some ricotta spread on top. Not fresh ricotta and sliced figs mind you... it was clear this was from some prepackaged tub and they just smeared it on top of the toasted wonder bread. It was tasteless, and put fear into us that the rest of our dinner would match. The chianti ($9) matched the appetizer perfectly. Had they spouted it from a box and then added some vinegar for good measure, I would not have been surprised. It was so terrible, that the two of us couldn't finish the single glass together. Bleh... Out came our entrees... spinach and ricotta ravioli ($15) from the menu for myself and pappardelle with mushroom sauce and truffle oil ($19) off the specials menu for my wife. My ravioli was delicious, in a cafetaria food-line sort of way. The raviolis tasted frozen from a bag, but they probably figured I wouldn't notice after they'd covered it in a quart of heavy cream sauce. The pappadelle was covered in heavy oil instead of cream, and salty like the sea. This was a meal you'd expect at some bad tourist restaurant in little italy, not from an authentic italian restaurt on the upper east side. They asked if we were interested in coffee and desert, but we'd already had our fill.
Posted by Anonymous on 08/01/2009
the title says it all. It's unfortunate for the reviewers who feel they had bad experiences as that means they will probably not go back, its unfortunate because they are missing out on some really great food. I have been dining there roughly 2x a week since i stumbled in for lunch one day and have never been disappointed.
Posted by TG on 06/18/2009
Italian the way it is supposed to be made ... not weighed down with cheese, not salty, not mega portions ... pasta al dente, chicken, veal, etc. are prepared to perfection. Order in all the time but finally went to eat in the restaurant and it was quite lovely, good service.
Posted by Naomi on 06/01/2009
Our reservation was for 8:45 PM on a Saturday night. We were seated quickly in the back "garden" area. The "garden" was very crowded and whatever atmosphere was supposed to be there was destroyed by the upstairs neighbors and their loud yelling. It may have been a busy night but the fact that we didn't get to order until close to 9:20 and didn't receive our appetizers until after 10 was just the beginning. Our entrees didn't arrive until close to 10:30. The "bruschetta" was served on toasted wonder bread! The portions were small and the chicken entrees did not come with any pasta. I ordered Linguine with a garlic white wine sauce. The clams were small and slimy, the garlic wine sauce tasted like soap water but worst of all, the pasta was CRUNCHY!! An Italian restaurant that can't cook simple pasta is just lame. All in all I paid $25 (everyone else $37) for a very unhappy meal.
Posted by Jami on 05/14/2009
Had a lovely 3 hour dinner here last night. The staff stayed away from my table unless we needed them and we were able to have a nice, quiet conversation. The food was exactly what was expected and the atmosphere was perfect. This is so much better than all the cluttered loud restaurants on the avenues in the area.
Posted by Toni on 05/06/2009
It was our first visit to NYC me and my wife were really diying for Italian food. And it happened that we ended up at this cafe Buon Gusto! they actually should call it Peggio Gusto! We got our food after long waiting probably they forgot about us. When finally we recived our food we were even more dissapointed! my chicken was half cooked my wifes pasta was over cooked, extrimly salty and cold! At the end we got our check that has gratuity! We asked for the manager and they said that he left!
Posted by Brian on 03/24/2009
Was very disappointed on my return visit. Waitress slow had to repeat ourselves many times to be understood( italian girl didn't know menu) I order filet mignon medium came out very well done. We called manager and all we got was an attitude from him, we were amazed at how rude he was, giving attitude left and right. This could be a great place if it wasn't run by manager with poor business sense and no manners, and why he was smelling like a cigar and bear.