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Posted by mandy on 12/04/2013
With the way we were treated, I can guarantee that we would never set foot in your establishment again. It is too bad you have driven us away, because the food is excellent, and the decor is very nice. I wanted to like your restaurant so bad. I wanted it to be the highlight of my weekend in New York, but it actually ruined the weekend, and the rest of the night that followed. It's too bad. With proper service, you could have earned a 5 star review and repeat service. P.S. Change your front stairs before somebody gets killed falling down them!
You are a joke, and the upscale decor in your restaurant does not make up for the terrible service, attitude and incompetence. First, you served me the wrong food, I asked for the linguini with white sauce, no clams, but I got a red sauce. If I wanted red sauce, I would've asked for it. It was delicious, but not what I requested. There's nothing like being in the mood for something special and getting something totally different. next, you served us half of a proper pour of dreadful, watered down wine. You yelled at a customer and refused to accommodate their food allergy (right after screwing up my food allergy accommodation). You excessively delayed our check even though we told you we were rushed, which made us miss our bus back to Boston. We had to wait two hours outside in the rain with our luggage for the next bus home. To top it all off, you never brought us our dessert, which we paid for and requested three times. You said, "Not to worry. By the time you finish your dinner, the dessert and check will be on the table". We had to request both items multiple times, it was a miracle we even got our check and we never did see our tiramisu. I don't know how you plan to stay in business, but these are serious flaws in your service. You only have a few tables in your restaurant. That night, you were only serving two tables and one person at the bar. There is ABSOLUTELY no reason for the attitude and lack of service. If the reason that you were so angry is because I asked for no clams and you didn't want to accommodate an allergy, then TOUGH LUCK! If a person has an allergy, it can be life-threatening, so put on a happy smile and change the damn recipe. If the reason you were so angry and miserable was that we had a voucher for the 1 appetizer, 2 entree, 2 glasses of wine, and dessert deal, then maybe you shouldn't offer it. The point of those deals is to get people to try your restaurant, fall in love with it, and come back again.
Posted by Martin W on 07/02/2013
I recently dined at Grotto during a hot and humid evening at the end of June. Upon walking down the short, narrow stairs into the restaurant, the establishment’s name made sense. I know I might be more sensitive to the heat and humidity than others but this evening was particularly hot and sticky. The restaurant was extremely hot and I noticed that it was pretty much empty, which I found odd for 8:30PM on a Friday evening. Upon asking, I was told the A/C wasn’t working. I was directed to my table in the back room which was by the patio door but still very hot. If I were a restaurant owner and my A/C was out for the night (especially a Friday night which is one of two days that I should be bringing in the majority of my revenue) my first action would be to send one of my bussers out with my credit card to purchase a few fans to circulate air within the restaurant. Even if the cost for several fans is $100 it is worth it if my patrons are happy and choose to stay in the restaurant longer and buy more food and especially wine! I wasn’t the only one that was uncomfortable from the heat. I could see other patrons fanning themselves with menus, sweat beading down from the foreheads of the hostess and servers, and sounds of women’s legs sticking to the leather of the booths as they got up. If I could ask the owner: why wouldn’t you go out and buy a few fans for your guests? How is one to eat pasta and drink red wine in 90 degree humidity? The food was ok but nothing great in my opinion. Their risotto was good but nothing out of this world. I ordered the papperdelle with guanciale and sugo di tomata. Please excuse my awful Italian. My sausage was good but the sauce was literally tomato sauce. It had no seasoning in it. No salt, no pepper no oregano, nothing. The servers could clearly see how uncomfortable everyone was but offered nothing for us. In fact, I had to ask for my water refilled 3 times on one occasion. I kindly asked if the manager would be willing to give me a glass of white wine on the house for making us endure eating Italian food in jungle-like conditions. Though the house wine was sold for $7 a glass which I assume is marked up at least a couple hundred percent, she flatly declined my request. I guess for a restaurant to turn an unhappy customer into a happy one for the cost of a $3-$4 glass of wine was too much for the restaurant to bear. Mind you I have significant restaurant experience since the age of 14.
Posted by d27pat on 04/08/2013
Quite honestly we would have walked right past this place and never given it a second glance, but we got a coupon and decided to try it. How lucky we did! Food, service, atmosphere, everything was as it should be. Can't wait for warm weather so we can use the patio. Go, you'll love it!!I had the pumpkin ravioli and my husband swears by the salmon risotto. Try the gelato if you have any room left, two scoops each a different flavor.
Posted by SP on 07/31/2012
Almost intentionally tucked away and easy to miss, the restaurant had some innovative and very well done meals. While it wasn't very crowded, the atmosphere on the back garden/patio was relaxing on a summer's evening. I'd definitely recommend, as it's a nice alternative to the larger (McNally-esque) Italian, that has a two hour wait and is more expensive, for the same quality food. The biggest difference (and my only complaint) was with the service. The staff never refilled wine, wasn't knowledgeable about the menu, and was very out of rhythm. Might have been an off night, but might have also explained the lack of people in the restaurant. My advice would be give it a try on a nice evening w/ a date, if you're in a relaxed mood. My advice to the restaurant, you have a lot of the pieces of a top tier restaurant, now just put them all together properly.
Posted by West Villagers on 09/10/2010
Easy to miss, this tucked away down-the-stairs restaurant is cozy and romantic. The garden is far away from its gritty Chinatown surroundings. We went on a quiet late-summer evening. It wasn't crowded so service was great. What the food may lack in innovation it makes up for in authenticity. It's like eating in southern Italy. The Arancino Cantanese (rice balls) appetizer was a standout. Drinks were delish, wines solid. We'll go again.
Posted by Marko Polo on 07/17/2010
The food is way overpriced for what it is. But for any money, it was not good, mediocre at best. We ordered branzino and it came with… grilled onion and few crashed olives for $27!! For just a small size grilled fish? Which was over cooked? C’mon! Octopus was inedible and the salads are nothing to write home about. I liked the wine though! The service was very friendly but very slow also. Plus they mixed our orders… There are better places out there, skip this one.