This story is typical of Hancock/Larchmont area, and where Patina resides. After living here for many years, my husband and I decided to dine at Marino on Melrose. Our first meal there was during the week and the owner had time to kiss my hand and chat. We were bade to return whenever.
We again returned with friends on a Saturday night several weeks later. The quality of the food was somewhat disappointing...and the chat and hand kissing lessened. We returned one more time just before Christmas and the restaurant was catering a private party in another room. The service was abysmal and so was the food. It took more than an hour to get our main course and my husbands was the wrong order. We got a personal visit from the owner who told us that we made the error in ordering and we'd have to wait while they remade my husbands food. We both munched on my less than mediocre food and brown-bagged his over-cooked, cold mess.
In listening to conversations at other tables, we realized that the entire dining room was neglected and dissatisfied. The owner totally disappeared and left the poor waiter having to make apologies to all the diners who, probably like us, were given no consideration for crappy service and inedible food.
Oh my, how fast does the hand kissing disappear?
P.S. We'll go to Astro-burger nightly before ever dining at Marino again.
Zagat needs to dine there on a night when they serve slop before writing a review.
re: Gretchen Ehrenberg
I've enjoyed Girasole several times, a small family-run place on Larchmont. Maybe 10 tables altogether. Mainly pasta dishes: the portions are not big, but plenty tasty, and reasonably priced. I don't believe there's a wine list--they encourage you to bring your own and don't have a corkage fee last time I checked.
I haven't seen it mentioned on Chowhound before though, and would love to hear other's thoughts.
I love Girasole. Nothing fancy, but the food is very good (my girlfriend loves the potato gnocchi in meat sauce and never gets anything but).
I love bringing my own wine, but if you don't have something you like on hand, stop into the Larchmont Wine and Cheese shop next door. No real bargains in it, but a nice small selection.