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Cascina.... Anyone been lately???

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josigirl777 Mar 7, 2007 10:02 AM

I have booked Cascina after a recommendation on this board. Looking for cozy not too pricey but good food. Looked at their menu and site and looks like what we're looking for. The staff have been great accomodating a group of 15. My question is has anyone been lately and how was it?

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    RGR RE: josigirl777 Mar 7, 2007 10:11 AM

    Cascina is one of our favorite Italians in that area, and I often recommend it. My husband and I were there two weeks ago for lunch, and the food was delicious. There is an excellent wine list, and my husband raved about the glass he had. It's not a small place, so I wouldn't describe it as cozy, but the rustic ambiance is very pleasing. Right near us was a table with at least a dozen people, and it appeared to me that service for them was just as competent as it was for the two of us. So, rest easy. I think you've made a very good choice.

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      Snaps RE: josigirl777 Mar 7, 2007 10:14 AM

      i was there about six months ago, nothing standout about it, but the food and service were both very good and definitely thought it was cozy and affordable place, and i remember there being a large quasi-rambunctious group when we were there, which was a little peculiar in a cozy italian place, but the staff was very accommodating - unfortunately i don't remember what everyone in my party had, excpet that i had some kind of a pizza that i enjoyed

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        hungry_fox RE: josigirl777 Mar 7, 2007 10:19 AM

        I've also heard good things about it, never anything negative; I also plan on going there but only for dessert, does anyone know if the tiramisu is good?

        1. Nosher RE: josigirl777 Mar 7, 2007 01:13 PM

          Yes, we were there about 2 months ago and had a really poor meal. Seriously so bad that we've struck it off our Hell's Kitchen list. I really, really want to like the place, but the wine list is too pricey for what it is, and as nice as the servers are, they can't make up for the food, which in our experience has never been better than mediocre.

          Some people love it though.

          Nosher

          NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

          3 Replies
          1. re: Nosher
            r
            RGR RE: Nosher Mar 7, 2007 01:21 PM

            Nosher, Do you remember what you had that was bad?

            1. re: RGR
              Nosher RE: RGR Mar 7, 2007 09:42 PM

              Sure, RGR. We've been several times, but most recently, we split the watercress and pear salad and then had an order of the seafood risotto and an order of the veal scaloppini. The risotto was unpleasantly tangy and burned in places, and the veal was the texture of an old copy of the New York Times. Seriously bad meal. No two ways about it. And it's a shame, since the place inspires such loyalty. The people there are so friendly, I just wish the food were good.

              Nosher

              NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

              1. re: Nosher
                r
                RGR RE: Nosher Mar 8, 2007 09:11 AM

                By coincidence, at our lunch last time, I had that pear salad though they substituted Belgian endive for the watercress. I was informed about it when I ordered, and it was fine with me because I love Belgian endive. It was a huge portion and was properly dressed with a pleasant vinaigrette though it could have used more of the pears. My husband started with tortellini en brodo, which he said was tasty. We had the homemade ravioli, something we'd had before. This time, they were filled with spinach and ricotta and served in a light butter sauce. They didn't disappoint.

                I've mentioned this before on this board, but when we go to an Italian restaurant for the first time, I often order veal scaloppini -- picatta is my favorite -- because it can be a good indicator of how skilled the kitchen is in preparing what, on the surface, appears to be a simple dish but which is really difficult to prepare *well*. If it turns out to be akin to what you describe, I tend to write the place off.

                Our first time at Cascina, I ordered pasta, specifically the homemade pumpkin ravioli in a sage, butter sauce, which turned out to be delicious. But if I had ordered the veal and it was as you described, I doubt I would have given Cascina a second try. So, I'm entirely sympathetic to your view.

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            layatp RE: josigirl777 Mar 7, 2007 05:29 PM

            I had dinner there before a show. I don't think it's anything great personally. It's basic Italian food that is pretty mediocre.

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              SarahEats RE: josigirl777 Nov 6, 2007 05:58 PM

              After reading all the reviews on Chowhound (specifically from this thread) we booked dinner here last weekend. We could not have been more disappointed. We thought the food was good but the prices were incredibly high for the portion size. $15 for two small, almost microscopic, pieces of eggplant rollatini? Almost $30 for what amounted to a palm-size piece of veal? Please.

              Honestly, though, our biggest complaint was the service. We have never been treated so poorly. Waited 10+ minutes for someone to even give us menus and then forget about getting recommendations for wine or anything else. It was obvious that our waiter had much more important things to do then serve us or make us feel welcome. I guess he took one look at our party of 4 and decided we weren't worth his time. After he took our order we never spoke to him again (although I did see him schmoozing in the back room and hitting on the girls at the table next to us). We had to ask another waiter for the check - never offered dessert or asked if our meal was OK.

              Hands down one of the worst dining experiences we've ever had in the city.

              2 Replies
              1. re: SarahEats
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                RGR RE: SarahEats Nov 6, 2007 07:13 PM

                Sarah,

                So sorry to read about your disappointing dinner at Cascina, particularly since I was one of those who posted positively about it on this thread. I can only go by our experiences there, which has been only for lunch. We've pretty much stuck to salads, soups, and pasta, which have been delicious. And we did not feel that prices were out of line.

                As regards the service, the waiter we had was the old, roly-poly guy who would never in a million years win a "Mr. Sunshine" contest. The best that could be said about him was that he was competent and got the job done.

                It's probably close to a year since we were last at Cascina, and it has sort of fallen off our favorites list. Since Trattoria Trecolori re-opened in May, we've tended to go there. Recently, we tried Osteria Gelsi for the first time and were very favorably impressed with the quality of the Pugliese cuisine, the friendly service, and the very pleasant atmospherics. It's on the cusp of the Theater District, on the corner of 9th Av. & 38th St., but well worth the extra distance.

                1. re: RGR
                  s
                  SarahEats RE: RGR Nov 7, 2007 05:18 AM

                  Thanks, RGR. I appreciate you taking the time to write.

                  I think I know who you're talking about...we were checking out the menu/making sure we knew where the restaurant was located before our show and an older, rather round man came out and was chatting with us. He actually made us feel welcome and we thought we were in for a treat later that evening. Our waiter was a young guy, extremely full of himself, definitely made it clear to us that we weren't welcome and weren't worth his time. Even though the food was good we still feel the prices were way out of line. Other plates of food passed by us and all seemed more substantial then what we were given. If I wanted to read into it I could say we were purposely given smaller portions, but that's probably me being paranoid.

                  Either way we'll never go back, which is a shame because we liked the overall feel of the place - the decor was nice, the waiter who brought us our check was friendly and the food was good. But there are literally hundreds of other choices within walking distance so we'll take our money elsewhere.

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