Spice in Pittsfield disappointing again
I just got back from dinner at Spice in Pittsfield. I had dinner there the second day they were open (there's a previous post). Unfortunately, many of the problems they had on their second day are still present. The service is still unmercifully slow, although a bit more organized than on my previous visit. It took 20 minutes to get 2 glasses of wine, a cosmopolitan and 2 sodas, with the restaurant less than a quarter filled and the bar empty. We ordered and it was easily half an hour before we got our salads. My salad was actually very good (the arugula with goat cheese) but my fiance's mixed greens with sherry vinaigrette seemed to be dressed with only oil--someone forgot to stir, perhaps?! It was almost an hour after we finished our salads before our entrees arrived. We were a party of six, and the server took at least ten minutes to get six entrees on the table. As was true the first time I ate at Spice, the only thing even vaguely warm on the table was the bread--all of our entrees were lukewarm at best. I had hanger steak with french fries and spinach and everything on the plate was stone cold, and cold french fries are nasty indeed. I even tried digging down to the bottom of the pile of fries, but they were cold throughout. The server didn't come back to check on us for quite some time and by then I wouldn't have sent the food back, as we had already waited so long. The server did offer to bring us some new french fries, which came out piping hot. I believe that the cold food is a service issue, as for the food to be as cold as it was when we got it, it had to have sat in the kitchen for a very long time. One person at the table had dessert, a Chambord Ring Ding, which was quite tasty. To their credit, the owner did come over after the server brought the check. She apologized, and took our drinks and dessert off the check. While grateful for the apology, after having the cold food experience twice at this restaurant, I will never go back to their dining room.
I can relate...I thought that maybe it was just "new restaurant jitters" when I ate there shortly after they opened, and the service was ever-present but unavailable and the food was uneventful and tepid. I recently returned and found it wasn't much better. Our drinks arrived void of carbonation and took about 20 minutes although there were only six tables occupied in the dining room. The bread was a nice Portugese loaf, quite hot although a little burned on the bottom. The amuse bouche was a calamata tapenade with a quarter slice of cuccumber - usually served with garlic rounds or crackers...were we supposed to spread it on the bread? My salad was mixed greens with a couple paper-thin cucumber and radish slices and what looked like shredded cheese from a bag. The sherried vinaigrette dressing was essentially just olive oil. We had the maple-glazed duck (devoid of maple flavor...perhaps it walked under a maple tree as a duckling) hanger steak and I had the pork chop, which was served with a half of a teaspoon of sweet onion chutney, I think. The portions were rather odd, the hanger steak was huge, with a triple order of fries, although someone else at our table got the same thing and it was about a third smaller.The pork came with 5 tater tots and some seriously over-salted spinach. EVERYTHING was barely warm, and it was almost two hours before we saw the entrees. There was no garnish on the plates whatsoever....even corner diners will throw a piece of parsley on the dish. After trying to find our server for about 15 minutes we resigned ourselves to eating our lukewarm dinners, with one of our foursome heating the fries over the table candle.
I'd really like to see the place succeed and help with the revitalization of my hometown, it's a beautiful space and centrally located, but the only way I'll eat there again is if I can get my dinner delivered from another restaurant!