So disappointed in The Vine
I so wanted to like The Vine. I had heard some praise of it from a couple of people, it seems to be recommended often on this board and the menu had many items on it right up my alley ....but I was so disappointed. The food was mediocre and the service, while friendly, was zoned out. When our server took our order we were ready to give him our appeziter order along with our entree order but just turned and walked away after he wrote down the appetizer order. When he came back with our meat and cheese board we was carrying another appetizer and trailed off in the middle of his description. I don't know what we missed, though. He described one of the items as sopressata, when in fact if was a hard salami. The procuito (sp?) was sliced too thick and the fat, which should have melted in my mouth like butter, just became a chewy, inedible mess. My entree of Flat Iron Steak was not only missing the carmelized onoins promised, but was unevenly cooked and very chewy. The sauce was too liquidy and lacked flavor and the candied walnuts were well, only some of them were partially candied and other were not. The one saving grace for the dish was the delicious and perfectly seasoned mashed potatoes. My friend's pasta was equally disappointing. The pasta and sausage were fine but there was essentially a soup at the bottom of the bowl. There was too much time between our appetizer and entrees and we had to ask a busser for our check. We didn't see our server again and no one asked if we wanted dessert. The food was not horrible mind you and the server was not rude, everything was just very disappointing. Was this just a bad night or had anyone else had this experience?
I agree, sounds like a off night. I have eaten at the Vine at least 10 times and typically have a very good experience. Servers might sometimes be off, it is Ocean Beach after all. However, I have had the flat iron steak a couple of times and it has been cooked perfect each time (and came with the onions!). If you are in OB for dinner again give it another try and let us know. If it is full, go down Abbott St. to 3rd corner.
I do try to give a place the benefit of the doubt especially if I've heard good things. For example, my first visit to the Linkery had me eating off a sticky table and we waited a long time, but they informed us they were short staffed, they were slammed and each employee was moving a light speed so you chalk it up to a rough night for them. The food however was excellent. But in the case of The Vine, it was early on a week night, they were not busy, and it didn't appear that they were short staffed since the owner and other staff spent a signifcant amount of time chatting with friends (I assume they were personal friends and not just regular customers by the amount of hugging involved). The server identify the meat as prosciutto and it tasted like prosciutto, though I've never had raw pancetta before to compare. I may give it another try, but with so many problems, we'll see.
I also think it was a bad night... I go to the Vine a lot and the pasta is currently my favorite thing to order. It has never had soup in the bottom. Are you sure that was prosciutto and not pancetta? Usually there is pancetta on the meat and cheese board, not prosciutto, which IMO is something that I prefer cooked first. In fact if I order that board I always ask them to leave the pancetta off because I don't like it too much.
I can tell you that if you go back and you are not happy with the food you should tell whoever is bartending. They DO care there I assure you and will take it back and cook it right. Definitely give it another try.
I think it was a bad night. Though I have to say the surfer "dude" attitude of some of the servers can leave something to be desired. It can be a little too laid back at times. Could also be they were either short in the kitchen, had a key person call off sick or, worse yet, quit and haven't found a suitable replacement.