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- Growing Up Bronx
Yesterday was my actual birthday, the day started off rough for me. I woke up with a terrible headache and I felt very nauseas. I took 3 bayer (pain pills), that didn’t help, I popped an Immitrex (migraine pill) that didn’t help, I laid back down to rest some more. Eventually I decided to go to the gym, train and go for a 5 mile run. Done.
So me and the wife had made a reservation to be here at 6pm, but we ran a bit late so we rescheduled for 7pm. Now this is no fault of the establishment, but for someone going through a migraine headache, a worst location could not have been chosen. Starting from the walk over, and then lasting throughout most of the service, non-stop car horns, loud bangs, car alarms constantly going off, I felt like my head was going to explode.
Inside the restaurant the atmosphere was also loud and perky, not a bad thing, but bad if your head wants to explode. In hindsight I probably should of canceled dinner and stood home, but I don’t like to cancel on my mom. So I toughed it out.
We arrived right on time and were seated. I was starving and hoped they provided bread or something for the table. Especially after lifting weights and such a long run, a boy needs to eat! Stat! Oddly enough we were given olive oil and vinegar at the table, but hey where’s the bread? We waited sometime for my mom and sister but it appeared they were late.
Since I was starving I decided we should order appetizers, we waited but my mom and little sister had not yet arrived. So I ordered a caesar salad and some calamari for the table. Now if you read my posts, you’ll see I consider myself quite the caesar salad critic, it was my first attempt at food critiquing, the caesar salad.
Unfortunately this place did not deliver in that department, the caesar salad did not have much flavor, sadly I was not impressed with it. I think the salad itself was fresh and the croutons were crunchy, however the flavor was lacking. *Nods head* Though maybe it’s a healthier salad as we all know that caesar salad dressing is chock full of calories.
But it did not stop there, the calamari also did not impress. It was rather bland and breaded in a way I didn’t like much. The sauce was watered down and somewhat runny. Judging by the way things were going I thought this evening was going to suck bull rear.
My mom and sister eventually arrived, they noticed my irritation. Mostly I was frustrated because I had a migraine. My mom noticed I was in pain and gave me some advil, few minutes later I was good! Mom knows best! Heheh.
They started munching on the appetizers with us and asked “no bread at this place”. Several minutes later a gentleman walks out with bread. Woh, we finished the appetizers before the bread came out. The bread was good, a nice tasty variety, but this aspect really needs some work. Timing folks, timing.
For my main dish I had salmon with vegetables and potatoes, my mom had the same, the Mrs had a seafood rissotto, and my little sister had some lasagna like dish.
I have to say the main dishes were a huge improvement on the disappointing appetizers. The vegetables tasted great, the potatoes were delicious and the salmon was pretty good. I felt it all was flavored very well and really hit the spot. I did notice when I hit the bottom of the salmon on one side it was soft and pink, it looked raw to me, but as I was almost done, I simply stopped eating and let it go. I’m not a fan of raw food, especially at an italian spot, unless it’s a steak and I ask for it that way.
My wife had the risotto, she liked it but felt it was a bit undercooked. I ate a good bit of it with her, personally I liked it. Although the flavor was quite familiar, I hope there were no canned or out the box products used in this thing. I liked that it was a bit hard, but that’s just me. My mom and my little sister also appeared to enjoy their dishes, they said everything was good.
The outstanding aspect of this restaurant was definitely the service. Aside from the bread situation I felt the staff was quite attentive with our water, they were constantly refilling our glasses and asking if everything was ok. I feel that the service was pretty good.
When we received our bill, I did notice that they had included an 18% tip. Personally I felt that was a bit presumptuous and rather generous of themselves. If I’m not mistaken, tips are optional and at our own discretion. Am I right? In any case, my wife agreed that we were happy with the overall service and we didn’t fight it. But perhaps it’s a good idea to allow the client to choose the tip.
We forgot to print out a groupon we had, but they allowed us to use the our digital phone copy to enter the code. That was nice, I think if they wanted to they could have refused.
Overall the experience was pleasant. If you don’t mind a hell of a lot of noise and possibly waiting for bread (LOL) check this place out.
Growing Up Bronx