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Osteria Mozza - Bummer

8:00PM res this past Saturday. Very excited. We sat down immediately upon arrival, and then met our waiter about 10 minutes later. Appetizers came about 8:30 - pigs trotter (very good), burrata with bacon (awesome) - at the same time another couple arrives and sits next to us. Food is good though -so far, so good. Then, our empty appetizer plates sit there for THIRTY minutes. We haven't been offered bread yet. I ask for bread (every other table in the place had bread) and finally get it around 9:15, when our pasta shows up (orrichiette, awesome) and the couple next to us gets their pasta. We both finish around the same time and it is picked up same time. Couple next to us gets their mains about 9:45...ours show up around 10:15!!! We had the exact same thing!!! Hangar Steak (whatever), Fra Diavlo (nice). Overall, some of the shittiest service I had ever had. The jerk actually looked offended when I ASKED for bread. It is too bad because the food is great and everyone else was having a great experience, except for us, who unfortunately got sat in Buddy Holly's section. Lame. Also waaaaaaaaaay overestimated the "fine" element of this "fine dining" establishment. Lots of jeans and t-shirts. Hollywood douchebag invasion.

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  1. should have sat in marilyn's section.
    i'm a fan of eating at the cheese bar where nancy keeps her eye on everything. service there should never be an issue.

    1. I agree- we ate there on friday night - the food was really good, but the service was very bad. All of our "mozarella" dishes were really yummy - very rich. I also had the orichiette which was good too - al dente and also very rich. We did get bread, and it was worth the wait. OUr wine service was terrible - they tried to serve it to the table next to us, and then came back 2 times before getting it right. I hope that they can improve the service.
      I dont mind jeans and t-shirts - who needs to dress up - this is la- no one wears a jacket anywhere.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chef74

        Try sitting at the bar next time...either the booze bar or the cheese bar...service is better there and it really fits in with the New York vibe this place seems to have. Great great great food here. I agree that bad service at a rest. this expensive is UNACCEPTABLE but the food is so darn good you have to give this place some time to get everything right.

      2. I'm sorry, but c'mon, get over it. Two of your dishes you describe as awesome, another very good. You got seated on time. Some of the service was shaky but this is a restaurant that was jammed from day 1 and isn't even a month old. Sounds like you focus on your wine glass being half empty instead of half full.

        4 Replies
        1. re: nosh

          I wouldn't call that shaky, I'd call it unforgiveable.

          Service is part of what you pay for when dining out, especially in a place like Mozza.

          I would have definitely spoken calmly to the manager.

          1. re: nosh

            Osteria Mozza is one of top 5 ristorantes in LA. Sorry to hear of your bad experience. Pease give it another try. The Mussels, Orrrchiette, Cheese, Orata etc, and the Dining room make this place very specal in LA.

            1. re: PaliBruin

              Unfortunately, the service at Osteria Mozza quite often seems to scuttle everything that makes the place special. Reading the threads here, it seems to be a recurring theme across the board. No matter how lovely any room is or how great the food, when the service is atrocious, that is often all one remembers.

            2. re: nosh

              I completely disagree with you here... when you pay the kind of money I am sure they are charging you expect stellar service across the board. Something as important as service should never be overlooked, there are enough places with "awesome food" and "awesome" service to go with it... For people that don't have a lot of money, going out to a place like this could be a special treat and to have it ruined by someone who thinks that they are soo above serving you dinner because they might be casted in the next Meryl Streep movie, is unforgivable. Maybe you just haven't had shitty service at a place where you wouldn't have expected it.

            3. I had a wonderful meal there last week...but oddly enough, had the same experience you did with bread. I am from the school – and I waited tables for many years – that if you serve someone drinks and a good basket of bread quickly soon after they are seated, and serve them a great cup of coffee at the end, you can ride over a lot of problems. And with a new restaurant such as Osteria Mozza, when you see everyone around you enjoying they drinks and bread and no one gives you any, you can feel quite slighted. It is a new place and things fall through the cracks. So the fact the bread was forgotten at our table did not bother me. What did bother me was the ‘What the %#$^?” attitude I received when I did ask for bread, well after our appetizers appeared. It’s just a damn basket of bread, don’t be so annoyed I want to try it (and it was quite good indeed.) I loved the food and will happily return – and yes, the coffee was excellent. But something is going wrong with the initial approach to tables, which is perhaps the most important part of a dining experience, it can define the entire night.

              9 Replies
              1. re: Tom P

                I would prefer a more traditional basket-style service for the bread at Osteria Mozza as opposed to the wandering bread service they have now. At my table, everyone seemed to think they only got one piece of the three styles offered (white, wheat, or whole-grain), and when the bread guy passed by the next time, I was the only one who took a piece of each. My gluttony was punished when my fellow diners ended up snatching my surplus bread before I got to eat it, and I never saw the bread guy the rest of the evening. If the bread was brought by one's regular server, one wouldn't have to keep looking around for the one special guy roving about with the bread tray when wanting a refill, and diners wouldn't feel the need to limit themselves just to one slice at a time.

                1. re: Woolsey

                  i'm a big fan of the wandering bread service. this not only keeps my carb intake in check but allows for more real estate in my belly to eat the real food.

                  1. re: wilafur

                    I am sorry to say I also had a similar experience at Osteria Mozza, this passed Friday evening. And if you're interested enough to look at my prior posts, I have been nothing but a HUGE fan of Silverton, Batali and Co.

                    It started with having to wait over 45 minutes for our table...For a 9:30 reservation! I was famished and getting tipsy after my wine at the very crowded bar. Once seated our server came over, eventually, and I must say he was lovely and extremely sweet. However, we got the wrong antipasti and mozz bar plates. We were confused at first as some of them were correct, but quickly realized they belonged to the table adjacent to us. The staff were great, and rectified the situation by sending us one of the apps we ordered. We kept the first round as well.

                    The sad thing is everything we tried (whether we had ordered it or not) was really very good. The octopus was delicious as were the mussels and the burrata dishes. Our sommelier was fantastic as well, but I was sorry to hear she is based out of Mario's Vegas Restaurant and would be heading back there shortly.

                    Our pasta arrived shortly after that and everyone was impressed and happy again. They comped us a bottle of great wine. Big ups for the fresh ricotta and egg raviolo, goat cheese ravioli (must LOVE goat cheese) and the agnolotti.

                    Then.....
                    our entress took FOREVER! Almost another hour to arrive. By then, we were stuffed, pretty tanked and ready to go home. I asked that it all be wrapped up and went outside to get some air. When I got back, they had ignored my request and brought the entrees...and ANOTHER bottle wine.

                    It was really a nice gesture, but at this point we'd been at the restaurant for over 3 hours!! I had a few bites, and yes, drank some of the wine, and asked for them to box up the rest. Entrees again, were excellent with special note to the quail that my friend ordered. Not something I would have selected, but unanimously the best entree choice of the table.

                    So all in all, very mixed feelings. Have to give them props for amazing fare. Consistent, inventive and overall scrumptious. Also the TWO bottles of amzing and well chosen wine. But the service? Waiting almost an hour for your table, getting the order wrong and then waiting another 45 minutes for an entree? Especially knowing that we were already a slightly disgruntled table..? I am on the fence. I think I will give them some time to get it together.

                    In the meantime...I wouldn't be opposed to eating at the mozz bar early on in an evening. And I would definitely go back to the Pizzeria where I've had three delicious, and well served meals.

                    1. re: kellydeez

                      Kelly, I feel your pain and realize things should have gone better in an ideal universe. But you had a 9:30 reservation on a Friday night at the hottest restaurant in town, which isn't even a month old. They got backed up and they comped you a bunch of wine and food to make up.

                      I just don't understand the bitterness. This is the HOTTEST new restaurant in town (ok, I'll consider Craft) and you reserved the last real seating on a Friday night. OF COURSE they are going to be backed up. They have been open a month at best! You enjoyed the food. They bent over backwards to correct any flaws. Comps galore!

                      I view your post as a compliment to Osteria Mozza. If you demand perfect, kidglove treatment with absolutely no inadvertant delays or missteps, then make your weekend reservation at the Hotel Bel-Air at 7:00 and be pampered, pay the price, be fawned upon, and eat their upscale hotel food. Do NOT go to a popular new restaurant.

                      1. re: nosh

                        Nosh: If you read my review thoroughly, you'd see it was very complimentary but honest. This is not the first "hot" new restaurant that I have been to, and as you see at the bottom, I even said I'd venture back and sit at the bar.

                        I do not think it's being ridiculous to say that spending 3 1/2 hours at a restaurant was a little too long. I felt I gave then their due credit, but realized it might take some time to make it better. I see a lot of potential there, maybe that did not come through clear enough.

                        On the other hand, I dined at the Pizzeria the first week and subsequent times after and have NEVER had anything close to this experience as far as wait time and screwing up the order. So you do the math, I guess. I noticed a few other tables that night getting upset and we met a group outside that had a similar experience and got their whole meal comped. It's nice that the restaurant did the right thing, but service is paramount at a fine dining restaurant and after spending $450 for 4 people (and that is after the comped wine), I expected a little better.

                        1. re: kellydeez

                          The Pizzeria has also been overbooking their reservations. I was just there last Tuesday and was seated at around 10:20 for a 9:30 reservation. Again, on a Tuesday. Not a Friday here, and not at a place open for just a month. When we got there at 9:20 there were at least 6 parties of 4 ahead of us, and we all had reservations and were all waiting. They clearly overbooked.

                          To be fair, within minutes of sitting down a free appetizer was brought to the table, so that at least made me less annoyed. Not because of the food (between 4 people it was like 2 bites anyway), but because it was basically an admission of them screwing up. Apologies go a long way!

                        2. re: nosh

                          nosh, I don't feel like Kelly is being unreasonable or overreacting to her blog. All in all I feel like she posted a more than favorable review to a new restaurant. But when you are paying upwards of $400.oo dollars for a meal out your expectations tend to run as high as the bill. Working in the restaurant business and having been on the opening staff of a couple new restaurants I have expectations as to how well the restaurant is run as far as seating, service, and food times. I happened to be at the osteria with Kelly and the wait time far exceded a normal wait time for even a very busy restaurant. And the mishaps with the appetizers was a bit annoying not only for our table but the table next to us whom ordered those dishes well in advance of ours. Yes they did a great job in trying to turn around our experience with treating us like family. The service was outstanding and the food ( at least most of it ) was very good. But its hard to enjiy yourself when you were suppossed to be seated at 9:30 you get seated around 10:30, it takes around 45 minutes to get your first course, another 45 for your pasta and at least an hour for your entree. All new retaurants have growing pains and you have to accept that, but between my multiple smoke breaks, I would say 2 out of 4 groups had at least part of their meal comped over time issues. At least they are addressing it and making sure their guest feel compensated. But after dropping over 2 bills for our dinner I would have rather had paid for our meal entirely than being comped some wine and having our entrees boxed up. I don't feel like my expectations were too high I feel like the osteria grossly dropped the ball. I left a little drunk, and disappointed. I'm sure they will turn it around if the pizzeria is any indication but I would give it a good few months.

                      2. re: wilafur

                        Agreed. I hate having a bread basket on the table, which is totally inelegant to my mind. (Plus, it's too easy to graze on bread if it's right in front of you. I'd rather focus on the meal itself.) I don't want to feel like I'm eating at a low-end Italian chain at a place like Osteria Mozza. In fact, the wandering bread service seems to be the norm at most of the restaurants I enjoy (such as Babbo in NYC, or Hatfield's here.)

                        We happened to have had a very positive first experience at Osteria Mozza. We had to wait a bit at the bar despite our reservation, but service was pleasant and efficient (bordering on too efficient, actually -- stuff came out fast!) and the food was quite good, especially the mozzarella specialties and the pastas.

                        www.infinitefress.blogspot.com

                    2. re: Tom P

                      I completely agree with this: the initial approach is at least half of the experience. And I don't think the fact that this is the hottest restaurant in town is any excuse to not get this right. I recently had lousy experiences at Ford's Filling Station and Charcoal that were entirely due to bad service. At Ford's, we had an identical experience with the phantom bread basket; we had to ask for it, and we never did get it, even though we were told at one point that it was taking so long because it "had just gone in the oven." The table next to us, seated after us, got bread, and it looked damned good. There are a lot of carbo-phobes in this town, but I'm not one of them, and when I go to a restaurant that's reputed to have great food, I want to try as much of it as possible, including the bread.

                    3. Has anybody ever been to Italy? My experience is that most good dinners in Italy take 2-3 hours. It is about good food, good conversation and a steady flow of drinks. I have always loved eating in Italy and having this experience. My favorite meals have been long drawn out dining experiences with great company. In fact, my most memorable meal was at a tiny, five table Osteria in the Cinque Terra, which lasted all night. Maybe this is what they are trying to accomplish. Not the typical 30 minute, get you in and out as fast as possible experience.

                      I ate at Osteria Mozza last Friday and it took us about two and a half hours to finish our meal. I wouldn’t have it any other way. The food and service was exceptional.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: nd33x

                        It's true, in Italy it takes a long time, it's enjoyable. But ...

                        The typical Italian restaurant has 2 - 3 people on board: the chef/owner, the owner consort waiting tables, eventually one extra helper. Period. You won't see an army of hosts / runners / busboys / waiters / sommeliers /... you name it.

                        1. re: nd33x

                          2-3 hours for a meal (in Italy) is not the 3-4 hours experienced by Kelly in Los Angeles. Also in Italy the time is spent with food coming (hopefully) at a well-paced and thought-out rhythm. That being said, O.M., as a new restaurant, understandably has a few chinks. If perfection is what you need, give them a few months to refine the details.

                          1. re: nd33x

                            i've been to italy and even though it takes 2-3 hours, I NEVER HAD TO ASK FOR FREAKING BREAD 75 MINUTES AFTER BEING SEATED.

                            1. re: nn91604

                              I agree. Having lived in Italy for some time, I had plenty of meals (even lunches) that lasted several hours). But never ONCE in that time was the length of my meal attributable to the fact that I was asked to wait nearly an hour standing at a crowded bar just to sit down at my table. Never ONCE was the length of my meal 2-3 times as long as the person sitting next to me. There's nothing I'd rather do with my night than relax over a long dinner, good wine and good conversation, but that is clearly NOT what we are talking about here.

                          2. from my point of view, everybody makes mistakes. it's what you do afterward that makes the difference. Granted, things aren't perfect. the restaurant has been slammed since Day 1 and every diner expects it to be a revelation. But c'mon, when you're complaining that a meal takes 3 hours, you love the food, and they comp you two bottles of wine?

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: FED

                              because the free stuff was all given to make up for inexcuseable long waits. I think anyone would have been happier to get what they origianlly ordered and deserved in a good time, to have been seated in a reasonable time-all which should have been a given-rather than be showered with comps.

                              T'would have been fairer to remove a huge chunk of the tab, rather than hand out freebies.

                              1. re: Diana

                                hmmm, agreed that such things shouldn't happen. we should all pay our bills on time, drive the speed limit, be kind to strangers, too. the question is: when something screws up, what do you do? to me, two bottles of wine--on that list i'd guess anywhere from $80 to $100 combined--is a pretty nice attempt at making up. if you were running the restaurant, what would you have done (other than not make the mistake in the first place)?

                                1. re: FED

                                  It was nice, although the OP was probably a little more blasted than preferred. I think for that price, the OP would have preferred a certificate for an $80-$100 meal on the next visit.

                                  Or just comping that meal.

                            2. With regards to the Hollywood douchebag invasion, it's a popular look at a popular restaurant. Even Craft, which has more than its share of Armani at any given time, still has diners who sport the relaxed look. You'll be hard pressed to find anywhere in Los Angeles where a strict dress code is applied. The tables may be white linen, but the diners still come-as-they-are.

                              14 Replies
                              1. re: SauceSupreme

                                I'm ok with that. One of the things that always drew me to Babbo when Iived in New York was that you could show up in jeans at the last minute and get an incredible meal at the bar or, with a reasonable wait, at a table. I would hope that it's the same here. And jeans don't have to be shlumpy. My husband, who is in no way a "Hollywood douchebag" (how offensive is THAT, by the way? ugh, the more I think about this original post, the more peeved I'm getting; in fact, I find that the friendlier you are at a restaurant, the better service you'll get, which begs the question: what is the attitude of the person doing all the complaining?), often wears jeans to nice restaurants, but it's HOW one wears them that makes the difference.

                                1. re: hungrygirl106

                                  Totally agree with hungrygirl106. My husband--and I sometimes--wear jeans, but he wears them with a dress shirt and shoes (and sometimes a jacket or sweater), and the jeans are the current style, which is much dressier than say, 10 years ago. I don't care for jeans and a t-shirt though - I think that is pushing it in a restaurant like OM.

                                    1. re: hungrygirl106

                                      Mozza is a bummer even though the food is good. It is so uncomfortable due to the horrible acoustics. The design is in the service of making money for the owners, not providing a groovy time for the patron unless your idea of groovy is being packed in, waiting, shouting and seeing celebrites get the royal treatment.

                                      1. re: JillPickle

                                        How have you seen celebrities be treated different from other patrons?

                                        In fact, I'd claim they have it worse because when they scan the room they see *me*.

                                        1. re: JillPickle

                                          elbow room at osteria mozza is mighty spacious compared to many of the spots i haunt in manhattan. noise was never an issue.

                                          the only celebrities in attendance a few weeks ago were deb and me. we must be celebs since we got pretty good treatment.

                                          1. re: JillPickle

                                            Ah yes, those evil money grubbing owners. Have you seen how many hours Nancy puts in between the Osteria and the Pizzeria? I guess love of food has nothing to do with it. Yeah, so the place is designed to be a loud, bustling restaurant. Heard the soundtrack there? Obviously not intended for a romantic restaurant.

                                            1. re: fooddude37

                                              I dunno, foodude, I understand desiging to be bustling, but designing for discomfort seems a bit odd. One can design a place so that the walls actually absorb sound and "dim" the npisiest crowd to bearable. Of course, I've been in newly opened places that were set back by stupid designers that did not take acoustics into account. Usually, these places altered the room somewhat, once the mistake became apparent.

                                              1. re: Diana

                                                What, specifically, do you find so uncomfortable or discomforting about the design of Osteria Mozza?

                                                1. re: bodie

                                                  According to JillP, the acoustics.

                                                2. re: Diana

                                                  I think that the "loud" design of restaurants like the Mozzas are done by design. Think about it: Lots of couples making intimate talk on date, lots of industry types and celebrities stopping in, tables and bar seating close together. Yes, it can be noisy, but the acoustics and rock music serve to camouflage the discussion from the tables next door. When I'm at Mozza, I can't hear what the people at the table beside me are saying, and I'm fairly confident they can't hear what I'm saying. I like that. It encourages conversation - I can hear what my tablemates are saying with no problems.

                                                  I don't think the high ceilings and noise are a mistake at all. A restaurant with that much money poured into it, that took that long to build - I can't imagine every design aspect wasn't thought and rethought.

                                                3. re: fooddude37

                                                  I love Nancy. Hardest working woman in Los Angeles.

                                                  1. re: therealbigtasty

                                                    I with you there. Hard working and super nice! Last time we were in the Pizzeria we were seated at the counter, Nancy Silverton was right in front of us prepping and checking the dishes as they went out. I have a picture of her giving me the "pound" across the counter!

                                              2. re: hungrygirl106

                                                I agree regarding high noise levels. About 15 years ago, it suddenly became hip in LA for the restaurants to try to imitate noisy, high-energy Manhattan restaurants. Somehow, it's more tolerable there.

                                                Sound levels are the result of the nature of the crowd, but, also, design. You can design a room to absorb sound, or to reflect it. I have been in some places where it is almost impossible to be heard or to hear your guests. Not pleasant, at least not for me.

                                        2. <<Hollywood douchebag invasion.>>

                                          I have no idea what this means, but whoa, it sure sounds insulting. I can only guess why the next table, with the same order, was served a half an hour earlier....

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Bite Me

                                            Much more likely to find the HDI (Hollywood Dbag Invasion) at Craft where the Ari Gold factor makes loud deal making and TMZ.com yuks a potential issue to dodge.

                                            1. re: Servorg

                                              Tried it!

                                              It sucked!

                                              Will go back in 6 months!!

                                          2. I went there last Saturday, August 25, and there was only one dish that I really enjoyed - the octopus. The orrechiette was tasty but not extraordinary. It was my first time at Osteria Mozza, but I was there with a friend who has been there before. He was able to point out that since our table was in the backroom of the restaurant we were short changed on the service as he had to walk into the main room several times to flag down the staff. At restaurants were people go for not only the food, but the service as well, something like this is unacceptable. We threw down 350 dollars and got only one remarkable dish. The orata fish was forgetable, although my friend enjoyed it. Another friend's description of the Brasato was "meat in La Fuente's Burrito." Personally, I like their Burritos.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: jocey

                                              I think a lot of what sells Mozza is the fun vibe, the anitcipation, the enthusiastic service. When you're feeding off the energy of the other happy diners, everything seems so good. When that is lost and, say, you're shuffled off to the Mozza Coat Closet while you wait for your spaghetti all'Gricia, everything just can seem as gray as the four flat walls you're stuck staring at.

                                              1. re: Woolsey

                                                Your fun vibe is not my fun vibe. Noise is noise and amping it up does not make it fun. Making me wait in that environment does not make it fun. I like to wait for food when my boyfriend takes all day to make a Sunday Supper from Susan G.'s cookbook--from shopping at the Farmer's Market to smelling the spices cooking. That's a fun wait.
                                                I'm sensitive to noise pollution of all kinds: jumbled, loud voices blended into rock music, cell phones, wheelers and dealers. Fun for me is to be able to relax, talk and listen at fairly normal volumes.

                                                In addition to bad acoustical design, the bathrooms are grody and the room is nothing more than a box. These people have money. They could make the atmosphere more beautiful.

                                                An interesting discussion would be how the different castes in restaurants (owners, diners, waitstaff, busers, etc.) mirror status in society. Nancy is not going to treat me that well. She has to maintain her position my making me uncomfortable on many different levels.

                                                1. re: JillPickle

                                                  Well, clearly, you didn't have fun even in the big loud box, so you didn't like Mozza. In a roundabout way, you've proven my point.

                                            2. I was there last Wednesday at 6:30pm. The full review is posted at:
                                              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/434537

                                              It seems that we all (or almost all) agree that the food is great but seating location seems to be a determing factor for the rest. Sitting at the Mozzarella bar, we had positively doting service and were out of there in less than an hour and a half.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: meatlessinla

                                                Do you need reservations for mozz bar and if not how long is the wait? Even with the teeter-toter reviews the food sounds so good!!!

                                                1. re: jme1beachbum

                                                  The bar is walk-ins only, and the wait depends on the time you come in (earlier and later in the evening has a shorter wait, weekends have longer waits than, say, a Tuesday). At 9:00 P.M. on a Saturday, the wait was an hour-and-a-half, quickly shortening to an hour.

                                              2. Anyone who says that poor service should be forgiven if the food is good is terribly mistaken. I understand if you are going to a take out stand or a fast food joint, where you are simply going for the food and not the dining experience, but at a "high end" restaurant like Osteria Mozza, the service is just as important to the meal as the food is. I recently came back from a trip to NYC where I did a lot of dining, and was blown away at the level of service that the top restaurants in NYC provide. If you are spending $200-300 for dinner for 2, you should not have to ask your waiter for bread or wait 30 minutes to have your plates taken away from your table. Even though LA does have great food, I think even the top restaurants in LA are lacking in terms of service compared to NYC.

                                                1. I ate there with my wife last night (June 7). We had a great experience. The waitress was very attentive, made recomendations about what to order, and was basically there whenever we needed her.

                                                  I understand that American's don't like to wait for there food, but there is a method to the madness. The chef's and staff want you to be able to savor the food and gulp it down whole. Last fall I spent 3 weeks in France, and nearly every dinner service was a 2.5 hour experience full of wine, tremendous food, and conversation. I know that this is all very strange to most of us, but some restraunts actually enjoy only having one sitting for a dinner service. Remember this isn't McDonalds.

                                                  Last night we were there pre-theater, and the service was appropriatly paced. I wouldn't have expected to eat the tasting menu or even a 4 course meal in the time we had alloted. We started with a couple of cheese dishes (Stracciatella & Burrata with bacon), both were tremendous, but the Burrata with bacon is a show stopper. The cheese really was the star of the show in both dishes. Next we had goat cheese ravioli, which was also very good. Followed by trout served over lentils, and quail. The quail was tremendous; great sauce, cooked perfectly and stuffed with chopped panceta. Each dish was wonderful.

                                                  My only complaint is that the wine prices are very high. Even Battoli's own brand of wine was $85; in store's it runs between $15-20.