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Sep 23, 2006 09:47 PM

Felidia dinnner

last week I took three friends visiting from Europe to Felidia, largely on the strength of Frank Bruni's very favorable NY Times review. It was so disappointing. The five of us were seated awkwardly at a square table with two people squashed on one side. The service was awful. It took 40 minutes for anyone to take our order. The waiter managed to be both patronising and unhelpful. The food was mediocre - the beet risotto was tasteless, the beef cheeks salty, the seafood in the seafood stew not fresh. The octopus starter was ok as were a couple of the soups. The wine list was extensive but horribly overpriced. The toilet was broken, but with no sign on it, so people ended up waiting for ten minutes or so in front of a locked door before anyone told them the problem. All in all, a terrible and expensive mistake. A classic example of a restaurant riding on its reputation. Never again.

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  1. Wow! I've always felt that Felidia wasn't as great as others had said; based on your posting, I'll stay away.

    1. I have had some of the best and worst dining experiences at Felidia, it is just wildly inconsistent. I have had enough similar experiences as you to decide that it is just not worth it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bobby06877

        I agree about the inconsistency. I dine there a couple of times a year - I have friends from DC who insist on going there any time they are in town. I've resigned myself to the often bad service, unreliable food, and sometimes long waits for our table. That said, when it's good, it's very good.

      2. I have a love/hate relationship with Felidia... I love Lidia and have loved dining there many times but when they are off, they are off.

        I have posted about a recent experience while lunching with my uncle. He is a frequent lunch guest as his office is up the block and they know him. Leaving out all the details from that post, the biggest complaint I had was with the service. I am pregnant and when I asked the captain to check if a cheese in the salad special was pasteurized he got put off as if I was annoying him...and like I said, my uncle is a frequent diner. I pushed the issue and he told me to "assume" it is not and order something else. Not one to leave this type of rudeness alone, I pushed him VERY NICELY again to check (stating I REALLY wanted to be able to order the special) and he came back, not 30 seconds later to inform me it was not, though I must say, I bet it was and he never went to the kitchen. In every other restaurant (high end or not) I have dined in since my pregnancy, I have always gotten a warm, terrific response and more info than I may have needed about the item I inquired about, other items on the menu to avoid or those that would be good for me to choose...

        2 Replies
        1. re: Michele4466

          Sorry to change the restaurant, but a group of us ate at Tao yesterday (the food, actally, is pretty good--especially the $24.07 prix fixed lunch), and the waiter couldn't have been nicer checking whether various dishes my friend wanted to order contained nuts. He several times returned to the kitchen to make inquiry, and reported back to my friend without any loss of grace. Based on your posting, even though I don't have food allergies/am not pregnant, I wouldn't go to Felidia to experience that type of rudeness and unprofessional behavior.

          1. re: ellenost

            That is why I kept pushing, so as not to let that go unnoticed or unchallenged, so to speak. That is the first time I received that sort of sub par service there... I have also received amazing service, especially in response to the pregnancy, and we tip accordingly!

            Sorry to add another restaurant to this but at Vivolo on 74th St and Lex, after a LONG walk around Central Park on an early Sunday evening, my husband and I sat upstairs (which was still empty - filled up as we were dining) and received some of the best service EVER, pregnant or not. The waiter as well as the bus staff went out of their way to take care of us. I was starving so the waiter ran down to the chef and had him make me a salad immediately so we could relax and peruse the menu etc. in a leisurely fashion. The dinner and service just got better from there. My hubby, I found out later, tipped a rdiculously high percentage that night. I found out because the waiter ran out to the street to thank us after we left.

            BTW: Food, as always, was terrific. The salad was a special with portabellos and peppers and (pasteurized) cheese, etc. We had a phenomenal osso bucco and a pasta (cannot remember which one), which we split. They brought us a wonderful tiramisu for dessert and the espresso (hubby only) was great.

        2. I have given up choosing restuarants based on Bruni's reviews. He seems to be on another planet and his reviews of Asian places are bizarre. Almost as if it's not his kind of food. I went to A Voce after his 3 star review and found the evening to be fair to good but not anywhere near Babbo quality (to which he also gave 3 stars). I get my recs from this site now. It saves me a lot of wated time and money. Just my thoughts. Sorry your meal was disappointing.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JeremyEG

            I agree with you, Jeremy. Bruni's reviews are basically worthless, particulary his star assignments, which often don't make much sense. Using your example of A Voce, while the food we had was good to excellent, I'm still not convinced it deserved 3 stars. And the obscene noise level when the room is full was definitely a huge turn-off for me.

          2. Did Bruni visit Felidia? I must have missed it. I thought the NYT hadn't reviewed this place in years.