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Mixed Bag at La Posata

j
janiceliv Aug 26, 2007 12:32 PM

My husband and I went to dinner at La Posata in Marlton last night with a group of friends. We've been there 6 or 7 times before, usually in a group totalling no more than 4 or 5 people. However, last night we had a party of ten. Each time we've gone we've found that the service was good and the food was consistent -- nothing ground breaking, but fresh, simple Italian food, with the specials offering a more creative edge to the menu. Last night, however, we had a very interesting dining experience there. To start with, after we were seated it took over 15 minutes for a server to approach our table -- and only after we grabbed the host and informed him of it. Our waitress then came over and said she'd be right with us. While we were waiting for our waitress to return, a different waiter (who knows two of the people in our party) came over to say hello and said he would bring out their favorite appetizer -- scallops wrapped in bacon, which were not on the menu but that they offer regularly. He asked how many servings our table wanted, and then went back into the kitchen to put the order in. In the meantime, our table still did not have water or bread, and the remaining appetizer orders were not taken. We were finally able to snatch our waitress as she walked by and ask for bread and water. She brought it over as the scallops were being delivered to our table -- still, nobody took our order. Finally, we asked if we could order and she said yes, that she'd be right back. In the meantime, the other waiter came over and told us that they were all out of specials. After he left and our waitress returned, she read over the list of specials, saying that they had all but one still available. She took our order and then the host brought over a large complimentary order of bruschetta as an apology for the problems with our service. The bruschetta was delicious, overflowing with ripe plum tomatoes on top of perfectly crisped bread. The scallops were also very tasty, topped by warm, gooey, brown sugar. However, one order of scallops was completely undercooked (and my husband was later ill, so I'm assuming the scallops that he ate before I told him they were undercooked caused it). Our entrees came out shortly after -- the highlights were the crabcakes, the delicious, pillowy gnocchi in a tomato cream sauce, and linguine with crabmeat in a white sauce. Desserts were pretty good but ordinary -- a tri-layer mousse cake, a bailey's mousse cake, and cannoli. Throughout the entire meal, we had to ask repeatedly for water refills (which were never poured) and coffee (which was only given at the end of the meal and after dessert, no less). During dessert, the waiters had already started sweeping and vacuuming, despite the fact that there were still diners finishing their meals. Finally, when our check arrived after approximately 20 minutes of waiting for it, we saw that a 20% gratuity had been added -- non-negotiable -- and was calculated after tax. Our service was barely worth a 15% tip, let alone 20%. Overall, while some of the food was quite tasty, the awful service throughout the meal and the problem with our scallop appetizer left our entire party disappointed. While I would probably give this restaurant another chance, if this happens again, I will not be returning.