I’d like to start by saying that I’ve dined at La Vecchia several times over the years with my girlfriends and we have had very enjoyable and creative meals. My first dinner their was mind-blowing and so we have returned many times. I would also like to say that the servers looking after us were prompt and professional. In this context, what happened Thursday night astounded me.
After some misadventures trying to find a place at the last possible moment (try booking anywhere around Y&E at 5:30pm Thursday for a table that night) we ended up at La Vecchia. We were seated in the front section where no matter which table you get, if it’s cold outside it’s cold where you are. Beggars, choosers and all that we accepted our fate.
We placed our orders and prepared to relax, enjoy, and talk as usual. Then the horror began.
Appetizers: I was served calamari that was not only insufficiently sliced (think bicycle inner tube) it had the texture of, well, think bicycle inner tube. One of my friends had a seafood salad that had a cacophony of flavours never intended to harmonize together. She left half on her plate. My other friend had an innocuous and impossible to mess up salad and so was content… so far.
Main Course: I ordered the pasta special that night which was less than special, but fine anyway. Friend one had the Penne alla Vecchia that had a taste not dissimilar to a Knorr sauce. Friend two had one of the best effort to reward ratio dishes, linguine in clam sauce. Well that is if they clean the clams first. Grit was in her very first bite. She took a couple more bites and declared it inedible. Right she was. Her plate was taken away and the offending dish was removed from the bill.
I checked ChefDB to see if there was some reasonable explanation in the way of staff changes. It still lists Aurora Stranges as chef. I find it very hard to believe that claim. She has delivered so many wonderful meals in the past I can’t imagine the information is up-to-date. What happened to this place?