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Nov 18, 2000 08:50 AM

Il Giglio - BEWARE!

  • j

I recently took out of town guests (6 of us total) to Il Giglio, based on Zagat's report. We had picked out appetizers (all reasonably priced) but the waiter hawked his wares like a used car salesman, urging us to "allow me to make up just a little appetizer for you - I promise, you will love it". We, of course, agreed. The appetizer was sparse, and not very good, but we didn't say anything to spoil a rare reunion with our friends. When we ordered the entree, 2 of us had picked out the veal chop - I asked for the one on the menu which was about $25, and 2 picked out rack of lamb, which on the menu was about $27 - once again, our "salesman" pushed the veal and rack of lamb specials, saying we wouldn't be disappointed, etc. etc. When he left the table, I thought, why did I agree to that - I preferred my original choice, but he was such a good salesman, we let it go. The bill came. Are you ready? $195 for the appetizers!!! And the specials, instead of being a few dollars more than the menu prices (merely a change of sauce), were about $45-$47, depending on the dish. Our bill was $750 for six people. The food wasn't great, but that's not my complaint. I really resent being taken advantage of. I've eaten in a zillion NY restaurants, and have never experienced anything like this. I guess the moral of the story is, when there is a special, or if the waiter wants to make up a special, ask how much it will cost.

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  1. There's another moral to your story, Joyce: Come and talk to the chowhounds *before* the fact. Someone may have had a similar experience at Il Giglio and could have saved you from an unnecessarily costly evening. At least now we all know to BEWARE. Pat

    2 Replies
    1. re: pat hammond
      Shelli DuBoff

      I'm so sorry tht you experienced the Il Giglio trap but at least I don't feel that I'm the only sucker to have been taken in by that mob. My husband and I were in NY for the weekend from VT. We had dinner at Il Giglio's and blanched when the bill came. We too ordered the specials. I realize that there is a price difference between our state and yours but we could have eaten for a month in Vermont for what it cost us at Il Giglio's. Needless to say we warned all our NY friends about this place.

      1. re: Shelli DuBoff


        I came to Il Giglio from Los Angeles, where presumably the food is considerably more expensive than Vermont, but I had exactly the same experience and reaction as you at this dreadful clip-joint restuarant. Any restaurant that behaved this way in LA would be out of business in short order.

        To others who are considering dinner at Il Giglio; avoid this restaurant like the plague.

        Fred Grannis

    2. r
      Richard Koenig

      Regretably my friends and I had a similar experience at Il Giglio. I would compare it to the type of evening one might expect to encounter at a Little Italy tourist trap. The excitement, and I must say a bit of pre-dinner booze, caused us to let our guard down. Needless to say the bill sobered us up quickly. The management was indifferent to our complaint, no speak the englese! Our only recourse was no tippa! After all it was the waiter obviously following orders. But that's what Hitler's henchman said.

      1. It is sad that we have to be suspicious of slick waiters offering to make a "special" plate of appetizers or menu. Remember to always ask how much it costs.

        I took some clients there a few years ago, so I'm not surprised this happened to you. They tried the same trick on us but we declined. But even worse things happened -- one of my guests had checked her coat, and in one of the pockets were a few dollar bills. When she retrieved her coat, she looked for a dollar to tip the coatcheck, but her dollar bills had mysteriously vanished. Another guest had a small shopping bag under his seat -- as soon as we stepped out of the door, he realized that he had left his bag there, but when he went to look for it, it was gone and of course the staff claimed they did not see the bag.

        Needless to say, I never ate there again. Plus the food is not that good anyway.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Gary Cheong

          It's so tempting to go there with mousetraps in the coat pockets, and order the cheapest dishes on the menu, send them back twice for suspect reasons and undertip. Sounds like a challenge to beat them at their game. But probably better tought than realized... :)

        2. Thanks for all the posts about Il Giglio. We had a res. for Wednesday but will break it for sure. This place sounds SCARY. I will certainly let my friends and family know also.

          1. My Italian wife had a great laugh over the sad state of the place. She points out that giglio means "Madonna lily" or "fleur de lys", and is considered a symbol of purity in Italy.