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SAGRA - Davis Square -Thumbs Down

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Ok....so i have neverpoeted a review of a restaurants, but i really think this is warranted. I have been to Sagra two times since it opened. I will preface my thoughts and say, that i know they are brand new and have several quirks/training to iron out, but what i experienced, i feel is unacceptable for ANY restaurant, new or old.

First experience: Went with my boyfriend and have very friendly waitstaff. We ordered our meal off the menu and then heard the waitress at the other table talking about the specials. We were never told there were specials. My b/f got the lasagna. It was pretty good....nothing to write home about, it was not out of this world--but pretty decent. I got the mushroom pasta. I thought my food was pretty tasty, enought so that I wanted to go back to try something else on the menu.

Second night (2/26): Arrived at 6:00 with my girlfriend. Only about 6 ppl in the entire restaurant (if that). I asked if we could sit at the high top at the bar. the Hostess said no. I asked to sit at the high top and the lower bar...she said NO again. I asked to sit at a table and she said that EVERY table in the restaurant was filled (for 6:30). She said the only place to sit in the ENTIRE restaurant was at the bar. I found it every hard to believe that EVERY table was going to be taken at 6:30 sharp, and there was NO room for 2 ppl to get a quick dinner wtihin 30 minutes. Unbelievable--you would think that a restaurant would take into consideration no-shows, and there would be room for a walk-in of 2 ppl.

It doesn't stop there though. So we sit at the bar, bartender was nice. We ordered our dinner and then saw that the tables were getting bread, we waited about 5 minutes or so and then had to ask the bartender if we could have some, since we ordered dinner--he then yelled over to the waitress to get us bread...somewhat unprofessional. I am not expecting service like No. 9 Park or anything, but a certain level of professionalism is expected.
Our meals came out very quickly.. I got the lemon scented ravioli--thought i would be daring. it was awful. the lemon tase overpowered everything making the entire dish quite acidic--and it was undercooked, it was luke warm in teh middle, the ricotta was not cooked through. My friend ordered a pizza. it was warm and looked like it had been sitting out under a light for a while. It was a below average pizza.

Still doesnt end there. The busy bartender never followed up with us to see if we wanted another drink, andi had to ask him to fill refill my water glass. By this time we just wanted to get out. So we waited with our food dishes in front of us for about 20 minutes until he decided to pay us a little attention. He took our food plates away and we have to wait another 10 minutes to get his attention to get our check. I understand he was busy, and the bar seemed to have been understaffed, but come on!

I would only go back there if it were for a drink after work, never again for dinner.
I think i am going to see how long THIS place lasts in this location. I think if it lasts longer than 6 months, than perhaps i wil consider going back.....until then...make sure you have lots of time and patience if you decide to dine at SAGRA.

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  1. That's too bad that the service issues at Sagra persist even when they are not busy!
    (By the way, did the place start to fill up at 6:30 or not?)

    As others have posted, I think the food there is quite good, but they really need to work on training the front of house staff.

    1. was this last night--sunday? oscar night is a notoriously dead night for restaurants. i find it hard to believe the place was going to be full.

      1. actually, the restaurant did not fill up at 6:30....(this was friday night) it filled up around 7, but not compeltely. there really was no reason for them not to seat us.
        I do think the food there is pretty good.....i may have just pisekd the wrong thing.

        the staff really needs to be trained well, i totally agree. Sadly, i think that if the bad service persists, the restaurant, sadly will not do well.....we have al been anxiously awaiting a rest in davis that with this format----and Prices!! lets hope they read these reviews and take note!

        1. After hearing of the opening of Sagra a while back I finally decided to check it out this past weekend. I went in with my roommates around 9.30 on Saturday after coming out of a movie. We weren't looking for a full dinner but thought we'd try out some appetizers and drinks.

          When we first walked in there was no one at the hostess station. After waiting a minute or two, the hostess came back in from the vestibule where she had been on her cell phone. She asked if we had a reservation (seems to be a common theme!) and when we said no she said it would probably be a 20 minute wait. We agreed to get a drink at the bar (and noticed on the way in that there were many tables available...I have a hard time believing there were that many 9.30 reservations) and then moments later we were alerted that a table had become available for us.

          The waitress came over quickly to take drink orders, but we had barely even sat down, let alone seen the menus. Drinks took a reasonable amount of time to come, and we then ordered 2 appetizers (arancini and calamari) and a Sagra pizza. On the whole, I was not impressed with the food. The arancini lacked flavor and salt, while the Sagra pizza was overpoweringly salty. The thin cut pancetta on the pizza was nice though. The calamari was mediocre at best. The breading was nice and light, but again lacked flavor. The dipping sauce was both odd tasting and an odd greenish color. We never did determine what was in it.

          I really love the space and hope the service improves (although ours was reasonable once we were seated), and will also test another couple of menu items before I write it off.

          3 Replies
          1. re: italyinmind

            The calamari dipping sauce was a citrus aioli. I really liked it, and the pizza with prosciutto. Didn't love the arancini though.

            1. re: yumyum

              I agree with you about the citrus aioli with calamari. Much better than the run-of-the mill tomato sauce that so many other places serve.

            2. re: italyinmind

              Was ready to run out & try them, but have decided to wait a month to see if they can work out the service issues in this new, casual venture.

            3. I went with my friends on Wednesday night, and experienced the same kind of unprofessional service mentioned above. I actually felt sorry for our waitress, but the management really needs to train their help.

              The meal began with us not being informed about specials, and with a skunked bottle of wine. She brought another bottle out, and the poor thing was obviously shaking. I ended up having to open the bottle of wine for her. When one of my friends ordered the grilled swordfish, only then was he informed that they were out of it.

              The appetizers were delicious. We had the calamari, with that fantastic aioli everyone raves about. We also had the croquettes, and the sliced beef. All in all, very yummy.

              I had a pizza for dinner w/pancetta, which was a little salty but very good. My friends were satisfied with their dinners also. At the end of the meal, we requested some after dinner refreshments. The waitress said that they didn't have limoncello, when they did. That comes from a lack of communication and poor management. You want people to spend money on booze, which has the biggest markup, so you DEFINITELY push after dinner drinks to those who want them.

              The band on Wednesday night was great. I highly visiting during one of their sets, even if just for a drink.

              Like Taralli said, I'll probably wait a month and try Sagra again. Hopefully, they will have worked out the service kinks by then.