The Disgruntled Diner – Trattoria da Vinci

I’ve been struggling with whether or not I should write a bad restaurant review. Honestly, I’m struggling with trying to find the words for this post at all. When it comes to reviews I prefer to focus on the good things and write about the good experiences . Usually if I see a lackluster performance,attend a lame event, or have a negative restaurant experience I’ll just chalk it up to sometimes-things-suck and move on.

Unfortunately, sometimes the experience needs to be written about.

This is one such story, the story of Trattoria da Vinci , of a once favorite restaurant whence I may never return.

When we arrived the table we had made reservations for was empty, but unbussed. So we were directed to a different table. We settled in and awaited our server. Bread arrived,conversation flowed, eventually water arrived, and then after good ten more minutes our server arrived.

  I ordered a $54 dollar bottle of Italian wine and the waitress had to check to see if it was in stock. She returned 10 minutes later and they didn’t have the wine. She apologized and I attempted to order a second bottle of wine only to find out they were out of that as well, I settled on a glass of Barberra for myself and a malbec for the wife.

By this point we were ready to order.

We started off with the artichoke dip and the wife had a question about the pasta with the special, the server had to checkwith the kitchen and disappeared for another 5 minutes. When she returned she had the answer “yes” and finished taking our order.

[Finally some Vino] 

After another five minutes I was joking about us never getting our wine and the server appeared with the wine. They were out of the glass of wine I ordered as well so she brought me a different Barberra and said,I shit you not , “We were out of the wine you ordered so try this one, if you hate it I’ll buy it” .

Whataa… So let me get this straight, strike three with the wine and thirty minutes later, you’ll buy me a glass if I hate it?

I didn’t hate it. The wine was fine tasting, but both of our pours were very small; maybe a third the glass in a medium sized wine glass.  

[ We ordered. ]

I ordered the roasted rack of New Zealand lamb topped with creamy garlic sauce ( 22.75) and the wife ordered the walleye special with pasta which cost about the same. We talked, our wine glasses went empty, and our artichoke dip arrived. It was excellent.

When our server arrived we ordered another glass of wine and a double espresso. The wine pour was again extremely small. When our food finally arrived some 50 minutes after ordering we were famished. Sadly, the wife’s pasta order was incorrect. She did enjoy the italian cooked walleye. I did not enjoy the lamb, which is my typical order at the restaurant. It arrived as three pieces of lamb. (Is three small pieces really a rack?) The lamb was gamey, extremely salty, and slightly over cooked. The potatos were equally, if not more salty, and the cream sauce was barely dribbled on the plate and hardly existant.

 By this point in the evening, our water glasses had been empty for about an hour. Luckily for the wait staff, they had more pressing issues than service, so i couldn’t voice my disbelief. We waited and eventually our server returned to fill our empty glasses and take our dessert order which arrived with our check,$104.00.

That’s right a cool hundo for poor service, worse food, and a staff indifference I wouldn’t expect in such hard times.

I figured with the level of mistakes and breakdowns in service they would have,at the very least, comped our dessert. Nopers, full price on everything,including the dinner that arrived with the wrong pasta.

Trattoria da Vinci, thanks for the lesson in terrible service and food prepared without care. 

 With entrees at over twenty dollars a plate, wine pours that are trying to squeeze 6 glasses from a bottle, and a better chance at getting basic service (and water) in a desert; I don’t think I’ll be spending my money at Trattoria da Vinci in the near ever. 

This is the second bad experience in a row we’ve had at the restaurant and you know what they say… Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, The Disgruntled Diner calls you out.

3 Comments so far

  1. Erica M (ericam) on November 12th, 2008 @ 8:24 am

    Wow, that’s disapppointing. It’s one thing if you spent $30 or $50 on a meal and got terrible service. For a $100? Bad service AND bad food? Hell to the no, Bobby B!


  2. greg on November 12th, 2008 @ 9:58 am

    OMG – The Lowertown horrible service virus is spreading!


  3. JasonT (minn_jasont) on November 14th, 2008 @ 11:04 am

    Interesting. I work near there, and go for the pasta bar at lunch, usually getting it to go. 10 bucks, and enough food for three meals for me. On the occasion I have sat for lunch, the service hasn’t been the speediest, but the servers I got were friendly, and I was still able to get back to work in an hour. Of course, even sitting, I got the pasta bar.



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