Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Again with the Bravo?

Yes, I did go to Bravo! again. The thing is with this restaurant, is that because it is part of a mall that we visit at least once a month, this restaurant becomes one of the options of places where my family and I can eat. If you have been reading my posts, you would have noticed that I have been there at least twice so far. The first time, I just had my wife and I and we had great service and the food was good. The second time we went, the food was bad and the service was horrible. We also had our kids along on that second time. We couldn't get into CPK (California Pizza Kitchen) and so we went to Bravo! again. I have to say though, counting this review, Bravo! is now 1 for 2; one win and 2 losses.

If this is your first time reading about this place, it is like a more fancy Olive Garden. They claim to have better or more authentic Italian food and they do have an open kitchen, but the service lacks. My two kids and my wife show up, ask for a spot and are asked to follow the hostess to the very back of the restaurant, where there are some booths available. She first tried to sit us in a booth, that was against a small wall and on the other side of a wall was a party in the banquet room, complete with presents waiting for opening on this small wall. The first thing as asked if we could move booths. I don't know what she was thinking, but if you take any young child and place them next to a wrapped present, it is nigh impossible having them not trying to open them. Not to mention that the booth was behind a large table, with at least 10 people sitting there, which I hate, because you feel so cramped.

We got a booth further down and as we sat, almost immediately, the waiter was on us, asking if we were ready. We told him what drinks we wanted and ordered for the kids, in hopes that their order gets in and moving along so they don't starve. Within minutes, a different server arrived with the food for our kids, which was great. But he didn't take our order. Instead I watched our server tend to the large party behind the wall. Here's a tip: if you have a large party in your section, then please do not sit anyone else in your section. My wife ad I normally tip the regular 15% but if the food is good and service good, we do 20%. Well, the server seemed that he was willing to sacrifice us and not care about us, so he could get the fattest tip from the party. Who cares about us, right? So, we wait and wait and wait and someone comes by and brings us a second basket of bread and we wait and wait. 10 minutes goes by and the waiter hasn't been back to our table to take our order. My kids are complaining about being full, and half of their food is gone. So, we are waiting and I'm looking all over, from our seat, for our waiter. Then I spot him: he is over at the other end of the restaurant, helping the bar-tender dry glasses and chatting with her.

So, the hostess comes by our booth, as she finished seating someone and then walks back to her station. I stop her and ask her: "our waiter has been sitting over there at the bar for almost 10 minutes now, could you please let him know that we have been waiting here to order." She goes back, tells him and he looks back at us, and finishes a few more glasses. Then he comes over like nothing happened. He takes our order. My wife wanted a salad with some lobster bisque soup. I picked the Chianti braised beef ravioli. I was a bit disappointed by the time the food came, a mere 10 minutes later.

Well, what did my food look like?

This is my ravioli, and let me say that it wasn't worth $10.75. The ravioli was good, the large amount of fresh Parmesan cheese on top, over-did the flavor of the beef. The orange chunks are the diced pieces of sweet potato that have been in a very rich and bad tasty cream sauce. The sweet potato, tasted off, as in, rotten, nasty, like trash, and it smelled fresh. It was the combination of the potato and that sauce that made it bad. I'd like to give this dish a 2 out of 5.

My wife's salad and soup was here:
My wife thought it was okay as well. But not that great, I'd say it looked like a 3 out of 5 for her.

What does this mean for this time>? Well, this means that out of 3 visits, we have had two bad ones. Will we return? Probably not now. In fact, we may try to actively avoid it now.

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