Has Anyone Tried Longo's?
Wondering whether anyone has any experiences with Nancy Longo's new signature restaurant, "Longo's" in Greenspring Station. I was considering it but held back because of an extremely negative review in Baltimore's City Paper (not a very gastronomically knowledgeable publication). In fact, it was the worst review I've ever read; almost vindictive in its disgust for the place. I still love Pierpoint
Went to Longo's. Dinner was excellent but the service was horrible. Man, they are in desparate need of a manager to run the front of the house. Nobody knows what they are doing on the floor. The restaurant was almost empty but yet they crammed everyone into that little room off the bar where everyone had to breathe the ambient smoke from the bar. My concern and complaints were met with shrugs by the host and hostess who seemed more concerned with "getting it on" than they did with the patrons' discomfort. Note to Ms. Longo: You have a beautiful restaurant and serve excellent food. However, you are going to go down the tubes unless you get a manager to ride herd on the staff.
Wow - I find all of this pretty suprising. I agree that the City Paper's judgements are suspect at best. I've been to Longo's for lunch and dinner several times, and have always enjoyed the food. The atmosphere is pretty much non-exisitant, but they would have to gut that place to correct that issue. The duck w/risotto and salads are very good. I'll definitely go back.
1) Gorelick can be brutal & I agree that his scathing review was an entertaining read. I like his column, he's honest, critical & does not sugar coat the story for the advertising department. He's really the only restaurant "critic" in Baltimore. We can only hope that his harsh words will raise the bar of performance in the Mobtown restaurant scene.
2) We dined at Longo's a few weeks after their takeover. I know that location has a curse. I know how it is to be spread thin in a business. I know that deadlines can bear down on you. It was quite an awful experience. The kitchen seemed to be totally buried with the impossible task of serving a dozen or so people dinner on a cold Tuesday night. The front of the house made no apologies for the slow progress (round of drinks, bread basket?). The food was nothing more than OK & it seemed the kitchen was shooting from the hip & doing their best with what they had & virtually no prep. I feel like if there were a "take charge" person there, all would improve.
P.S. The wine list was boring.
I haven't been to Longo's yet, but love Pierpoint. The comments were indeed entertaining. I have to say that if you are going to do a restaurant, do it right. I don't see making excuses for your relatively expensive place for the first "several weeks or months" that it's open. That's just plain lame. And if you can't do customer service and accept that in this business the customer is always right (even though they sometimes clearly are not), you shouldn't own a business that serves the public. And professionalism must be key. This is a killer business, and is not for wimps or people with too much pride.
Hadn't seen the review; wow is it brutal. I know that Richard Gorelick used to post here on Chowhound, back in the good old days with single page loads and what not. I believe he still lurks here. Kind of question why he's writing the review based on one visit; one would think that after an experience like that, he might go back and give it another shot. But maybe not.
At any rate, I've not been, but the dishes at least sound very good. Yes, I'm wondering if it isn't just opening jitters; I mean she does have a track record. I hope people are brave enough to go back and report.
One more thing about the CP review. The comments to his review are fantastic; really must-read even just for entertainment purposes.
They did not make an impressive presentation at the Great Tastes Expo last week. The empenadas clearly had been fried in oil that wasn't quite hot enough, the pastry had soaked up too much grease and was hard. The stuffing was dry and bland. I also can't say I was impressed with their "service" either. The girl sitting behind the table could not possibly have been LESS interested in being there or telling us about their offerings.
That said, they were also sampling some out of this world pound cake. I went back for seconds.