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Sep 30, 2007 10:54 AM

PO' Sucks?

Recently I went to PO on cornelia. This restaurant gets great reviews. My experince was just a bit short of horrific. I did not have the pasta which everyone seems to rave about but my simple selections of steak and sweet breads made me want to, for the first time in a long time, actually ask for my money back. I didn't, but if some one from the service staff actually had the mind to ask me how my evening was going believe me i would have let them know. This place realy made me want to ask the chef what in the world hes thinking putting such inferior products out in a restaurant that seems to have such hype. Seems to me like digging your own culinary grave.

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  1. Wow, that's interesting. I haven't been in many months, but I've always loved this restaurant. What was wrong with your steak and sweetbreads?

    I've never had anything less than great service, either, tho the seating can be tight.

    I'm really sorry to hear about your bad experience!

    1. Can you be more specific about what you didn't like? I've always found the place to be wonderful. A little cramped for a special occasion but really good nonetheless. I'd love to hear more so at the very least I can avoid that specific dish!

      4 Replies
      1. re: JeremyEG

        The steamed clams and mussels are definatly something to stay away from. The Steak is simply scary and the sweetbreads ( 15 dollar plate ) are non existatnt or just simply very well discuised as the hash theyre served with. I didnt go to PO for a cheap meal.

        1. re: yzi2424

          You're still not giving much info. What made the steak 'scary'? Why stay away from their steamed clams/mussels? Seriously, this is a food discussion board. It's helpful to be in some way descriptive.

          I haven't gone to the one in manhattan, only their new outpost in brooklyn on probably a half dozen occasions. Same menu. My experiences there have mostly been good...the last time a little average....but never bad. That sweetbread dish is an unusual one. The first time I had it (its a hash of sweetbreads, pancetta, potatoes, shallots...which we've recreated now at home), I thought that the sweetbreads were too muddled in the dish. Subsequently its become an addictive favorite of mine. It's a really nice mix of flavors. Not the dish to have if you just want a pure sweetbread experience, but tasty as hell nevertheless.

          The main thing I fault Po for is not taking enough risks on their menu, it's mostly pretty standard italian fare.

          1. re: Nehna

            the outside of the steak was completly anhilated tasted like whatever other food they managed to burn on the grill that night. Mussels were absolutely overpowered by mint and hard extremely large bits of kosher or sea salt. made the dish completly undesireble. It was like chewing on gravel. The sweetbreads are described as Sauteed Veal Sweetbreads spaghetti squash, sage & onion marmalade, where does hash come into play. Besides all that the extreme amount of lemon on that dish made me feel like hurling ( lemon is also not mentioned in the description or mentioned by the waitor). Please let me know if you want me to adress the service part in detail also, And as for taking chances it surely looks like they do. And lastly this was not the restaurant i would have in mind to go to if i wanted to experince "somthing different". Sometimes good simple food is all you need, done right ofcourse. Foams and invinsible foods are just not my forte'.

            1. re: yzi2424

              Ah, it appears (and I just looked online) like they're changed their sweetbread dish. That's totally different from the one I had there as recently as two weeks ago, so must be a recent menu change over. That does sound like a kind of odd combination of flavors.

              I think the something different thing is more an issue because I have frequented the one in brooklyn...which when it opened, I think many hoped would bring something unique to the street. It really didn't, we already had plenty of excellent other options for similar fare (Frankies and Lunetta in particular).

      2. I went for the first time this past summer and really liked my food. I had a beets salad and a special pasta dish which were both very good. Service was fine, no complaints and as Cimui says seating is a little tight but otherwise no complaints. We had one of the tables up front and it was less noisy there and seemed like it was less cramp.

        3 Replies
        1. re: G3B

          I didnt have the pasta. No comment there. Its the rest of the menu thats lacking effort or thought. Service needs work. When you make reservations shouldn't you get the better table?

          1. re: yzi2424

            We made a reservation and most of the tables were empty when we arrived so they let us choose wherever we wanted to sit and it seemed less cramped up front and less noise when the restaurant filled up, so that was our choice. I believe their pasta dishes are what the restaurant is known for.

            1. re: yzi2424

              We made reservations: the taxi driver got lost (believe it or not! I miss the old days) and we called them from the cab to say we would be 5 or 10 minutes late. When we got there, they wouldn't give us a table, and made us eat at the service bar, even though there were tables turning constantly. All I remember of the food is that there were beans all over everything, OK for home on a budget but not my favorite thing to eat out at a nice restaurant.

          2. I've eaten there several times for lunch and found it was fantastic, except for one time when I had the tasting menu. The papparadelle with rabbit ragout was outstanding. The duck sandwich was great. The gunea hen (who knows if I'm spelling that correctly) is my favorite dish on their menu. I found their gnocchi to be uninspired.

            I'm not sure what they did to your steak (I would not order a steak at Po), but they really should do a good job with sweetbreads. I'm assuming you have had sweetbreads before and liked them, so it sounds like you got there on a bad night.

            As to service and seating issues, they can have a bit of an attitutde. However, with a place that small, late arrivals and no shows can have a huge impact on the business.

            1. I've enjoyed non-pasta dishes, including sweetbreads before.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Lucia

                this place is great. still a treasure...
                2nd sweetbreads