After a few great experiences at Locanda Verde, we finally booked a reservation for our first wedding anniversary at Bar Primi. If this was going to be a similar experience, we expected that the antipasti would be way better than the entrees.
We arrived on time for our reservation. Immediately, red flag #1: The hostess was already questionable. Her greeting and ushering to our table was delivered with such laziness that I felt a wave of weariness hit me as my legs struggled to go up the steps as we followed her to the second floor. If she wanted to get her customers unexcited, she succeeded.
Once we were seated, the next trial began and thus our next red flag. Our waitress was no better than the hostess. In fact, she might have been worse, but I’ll get there.
For drinks, I ordered a Frosé and Panda ordered a Tröegs beer. The Frosé was made up of Sicilian rosé, Rosato Vermouth, and strawberry in slushie form. It was very strong, strawberry sweetness loss to the alcohol. The cocktail did get better as it melted.
We asked for recommendations on the menu and after much deliberation, we ordered:
Spaghetti and Clams
The Brussel Sprouts were nicely charred and paired well with cuts of crispy pepperoni. The meatballs were filled with ricotta and full of flavor. Panda and I agreed they far exceeded the meatballs from the highly popular Meatball Shop. The Crispy Octopus was tender and crisp at the end, but we didn’t quite care for the chickpea puree in which it rested.
The Cavatelli is apparently the most popular dish, but I can’t say it was beyond ordinary. It tasted fresh and homemade and the spoonful of ricotta added more richness, but it is not a dish I’ll remember for being amazing. Panda’s Spaghetti and Clams was spicy, but lacking in the flavor department. And the clams were incredibly tiny.
The food was similar to Locanda Verde in that the starting plates were much better than the mains. However, the quality of dishes are much more memorable at Locanda Verde than they are here. With that, let’s continue with the service…
Red flag #2: Apart from the busboys attentively filling our glasses with water and clearing our table throughout the night, our waitress was absent to the point of boiling offense. I wouldn’t mind it so much if everyone were being ignored or if the restaurant was busy, but the restaurant was far from filled and our waitress was super attentive of our neighboring tables. Her behavior felt selective. She didn’t care to check the status of our table such as whether to clear the table, or to deliver the dessert menu. Instead, we had to desperately and rather frustratingly wave her down to get her to stop. What’s even worse is that her overseer was equally as inattentive, seeking out, again, our neighboring table instead of ours.
In terms of restaurant experiences we’ve had so far, this one goes into the worst list solely because of the hostess and the waitress who really made this dining experience so bad-tasting that I can’t see myself returning or wanting to recommend it to anyone.
© kimpenguin 2015