Pasta with tomato and clam $18.00
The maitre’d was nice. Really nice. But he gave a half baked response out of his behind to one of our questions and that sorta pissed me off. Let’s start from the beginning though.
It was a major fail on my end to secure a dinner spot (sorry Sabrina) last Saturday night. Apparently, NYC restaurants are recession-proof because all of the restaurants we wanted to go to had like a 3 hour wait. I was afraid that Sabrina would eat the next moving thing if we didn’t get to a restaurant soon so after visiting Novita (and finding out that the earliest dinner slot for two would be at 10:30!!), we walked smack into Beppe and went in.
I love the decor inside Beppe. There’s a huge Piet Mondrian inspired glass panel in the back and little lights that hang from a high sweeping ceiling. Then there’s the brick that adorns the walls next to the booths, the wooden floors, and just this whole sense of rusticness. The place wasn’t exactly crowded but it wasn’t empty either.
We both ordered pasta and sat back to await the bread. The bread came within a few minutes, which I’d consider timely and all, but before the bread-plate even touched the table, we saw the pasta dishes arrive! Literally, like five minutes within ordering, our pasta arrived!
Don’t get me wrong- I love speedy service. But if I’m going to pay flipping $18.00 for a plate of pasta, that pasta better be made with some love. Assuming that the pasta only took 3-4 minutes to cook if fresh, 5 minutes is still too fast! So in my mind, it went something like this in the kitchen..
- Order comes in. Chef reads order.
- Takes pre-cooked chocolate pasta with pre-cooked boar with pre-made sauce and plops it onto the plate
- Microwave time
That was probably a bit harsh, but what else am I supposed to think? Who serves pasta at a decent restaurant within 5 minutes?! I mean the bread couldn’t even make it to the table quick enough!
Despite all of this though, I enjoyed the pasta. You couldn’t really taste the chocolate part but the flavor from the boar was really rich and game-y and not at all overpowering. Sabrina’s dish on the other hand… let’s just say I could have made a better pasta dish.
The best part of dinner was actually that up there- a corn muffin. They gave every diner on her way out a tiny box with a corn muffin wrapped in orange tissue paper, which was a nice gesture. The maitre’d ended up passing by our table and asking us how everything was. We told him about the sub-par pasta dish that Sabrina had and he was sincere in saying how he was sorry, and that if we hadn’t closed out our check so soon, he could have done something. But then, when we brought up how fast the pasta came out, he said something along the lines of…
“The guys in the kitchen get the orders when they come in. So they just make the food as it comes along. Since you didn’t order any appetizers, the pasta came out more quickly because pasta by nature cooks so fast. blah blah blah…”
There are two issues with this answer that I have-
- Even if there is NO ONE in the restaurant but me, and I order the single dish of the night, does that mean that you’re going to rush out the dish? Any decent restaurant would actually require their expo line to control the cooking time for the meal. You should know how long it takes to cook each dish and then time it according to that. Meaning, if we don’t order any appetizers, you delay the cooking by at least 7 minutes so that we can EAT OUR FREAKING BREAD FIRST!! I wonder what would have happened if I ordered steak and Sabrina ordered pasta. Would they have served the pasta first before my steak finished cooking? Oh wait- they probably would have pre-prepared the steak too…
- Even if it takes a whopping total of 3 minutes to cook our dishes, have they not thought about the psychological aspect of serving it that quickly?! Like I said, if you’re going to charge $18 for a pasta dish and spend less than 5 minutes making it, there was obviously no love into making that dish. So why would I want to pay $18 for your pasta if I can pay $8 at a crappy restaurant for the same quality?
That’s it, I’m done. I was really disappointed. The sad part is, my disappointment was 95% from the timing issue. Sabrina may have a different opinion considering how her pasta was bland, but if they just took an extra 5 minutes, I would have been so much happier. For god sakes, lie to me and make me psychologically happy. Sorry, but I’m just picky like that especially if I’m paying near $20 for an entree.