My lovely lady and I decided to have a dinner date out tonight. We intended to go to the Spanish place “Tu Casa,” but it would appear that we were not the only ones that came up with that idea. The place was packed. The waiters were running around; no one was paying attention to us. The queue was ridiculous, and it simply didn’t feel like the kind of scene that I want to be a part of. Know what I’m saying? So we bounced and started walking around Richmond Hill. Little did we know that quiet was not in the plans for us this evening.
As we walked around we came upon a few restaurants, one of them, Roka, is on my to-do list. However, since I have an open invitation from the owner to review the place for NYCTalking, I decided I’d try to get a hold of her first. Makes no sense eating, and paying at a place that you’ve been invited to test out for work. I couldn’t get a hold of her, and the gentleman in the restaurant didn’t seem to understand my English, so we moved along and decided to try out Spolini’s. We’ll try Roka another time.
I’m not sure if I can judge this place fairly, allow me to explain. Today, in addition to regular dinner service, it appears that these guys were also hosting a party of sorts in an adjacent room. That being said, one can only hope that the sub-par service was a direct result of this party. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that I’ll be able to prove or disprove this theory as me and my wife both agree; we won’t be coming back here.
It is nearly 2am, and I have been up configuring and testing my new Linux build. I’m exhausted, so I’ll be summarizing this with bullet points and a few words. I’m too tired to go into great detail, and frankly, what’s the point? I don’t have much to share.
Bread – Ok while warm. Rock hard once cooled down.
Bruschetta – This was pretty good. The tomatoes had a delicious, garlic flavor.
Calamari – Bland. Literally flavorless. I had to drench them in lemon and sauce.
Soft-shell crab – Came in a white wine and butter sauce. I thought it tasted strange, sour. However, my wife tried it and says that this is the way it’s meant to taste. Well, be that as it may, that dish isn’t for me.
Chicken Marsala – I tasted some of this from my wife. It was acceptable.
Penne Signature dish – This wasn’t bad; it was ok. Nothing to write home about. I’d expect more from a signature dish. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say that perhaps today was just a slightly off day due to the party.
Very basic. Not bad, not good. Just there. Meh.
Lacking. The guys seemed nice enough, and there was one younger gentleman who seemed more attentive than most. However, they were just spread too thin. I can’t blame them for being busy, but if you can’t take care of your customers in a timely fashion, perhaps its time to hire some more help. I recall one gentleman running pass us saying “Everything ok?” However, he just kept on going to another table before we could answer. Just going through the motions. Almost comical.
The food took an exceptionally long time to come out. We arrived around 7:45pm, and didn’t leave until 9:30pm. This wasn’t because we were having a blast, this was because the food took forever. The staff realized it too. They knew and sort of apologized for the ridiculously slow service. Due to the party, the restaurant was extremely noisy. We were looking for a nice, quiet dinner. This place is not really for that. I think it’s geared for groups, and individuals who are looking for a social gathering of sorts. Tonight, it didn’t lend itself to a nice, quiet dinner for two.
That’s all I have on this. I don’t think I’ll return here. If you have tried the place, let us know what its like on a regular night.
Growing Up Bronx
Please note the date on a post as it may be an old viewpoint. I keep old posts to show my evolution. The opinions and views expressed here are solely those of the author.