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May 25, 2000 04:22 PM

Cello - Can they do this to me ???

  • r

Back in April I booked a table at Cello, I have just been informed that the owner has now decided that on that evening they will only offer a special menu priced at $130 (their anniversary apparently), no mention of this was made at the time of the booking.
They refuse to offer an a la carte menu. I'm not very happy about this especially as I don't think I'll be able to book a similar restaurant at such short notice (two weeks) unless I want to eat at 11pm.

Can they get away with this ? I don't know anything about US consumer law but surely if I've made a reservation and no conditions were attached at that time then I have a contract (albeit verbal) which they are now breaking.

I've eaten at many restaurants in Manhattan but this is the first time I've encountered something like this. I'd appreciate any feedback anyone may have and any suggestions for some restaurants for a special occasion.

Many Thanks


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  1. It stinks, but the up side is restaurants get a lot less crowded in the summertime here - you may not have a problem getting a reservation someplace better.

    1. Fits right in with their generally overbearing attitude. The place is beautiful a but the food was good but not great and the service was so bad it was comical (assuming one could keep perspective at those prices).

      3 Replies
      1. re: Jerry

        I, on the other hand, have always found the service at Cello to be delightful. The waitstaff has a deep knowledge and appreciation for the cooking; the sommelier generally recommends wines that are surprising yet apt--and generally much less expensive than the wines I had thought would be appropriate to a specific dish. And almost everyone there has that sixth sense great waiters develop: knowing that you need your water glass filled before you realize it yourself; popping up at the exact right instant to usher a smoker in your party to the bar; suggesting an aperitif when you secretly long for one and bringing the winelist when you don't. It is formal service, certainly, but good formal service can be a joy.

        1. re: Pepper

          "It is formal service, certainly, but good formal service can be a joy."

          man, you said it.

          1. re: howler

            Unfortunately, there really isn't anything you can do.
            Somebody made a mistake.
            You could call them and ask them to call a restaurant of equal quality for you.
            Reservationists in restaurants sqeeze people in for each other.
            It helps to sound especially sweet(even if they're not) and maybe let them know that you look foward to dining with them at another time

      2. r
        Robin Majumdar

        In the end I cancelled Cello and managed to get a reservation at Gramercy Tavern. The food was outstanding and the service execellent.