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il mulino- good food, awful service

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me and my 3 co-workers went for restaurant week- they were out of 1/2 the RW items, so we ended up ordering off of their regular prix-fixe menu instead (3 courses for $27, as opposed to $20.08 for RW). the food options on the p-f menu were pretty expansive, and we were all happy w/ the food we got. i had fried calamari appetizer (good), sliced steak (cooked as rare as i requested), and flourless chocolate cake for dessert. (great). however, the service was the worst ever, to the point of being comically bad. our waiter was so awful (who looked like horation sanz from SNL) we wondered if we were on a hidden camera show. sadly, we were not. and the guy was not horatio sanz.

this exchange at the beginning of the meal is illustrative of how awful the service was- my dining co-worker: "can you help us select one these 3 barbarescos?" waiter: "um, sure. all 3 of those wines are made from grapes. the $30 bottle is the cheapest. $70 is the most expensive. people usually order the $45 bottle." co-worker: "is there anyone else who can help us?" waiter: "why? what else would you need to know?" it only got worse from there, so there's no point boring you guys w/ the details. anywho, the food itself made it worth going to on someone else's budget. one of my co-workers had a ravioli w/ champagne sauce that is really really good. dessert was terrific too. if you go and get seated in fake-horation sanz's section, ask to move. the food is worth going.

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  1. That's insane!! "Made from grapes"...I know it was painful to sit through but that was pretty hilarious from my end.

    If I remember correctly Tom Sietsema had a not so stunning review of the restaurant, part of that might have had to do with service. I haven't tried it yet because I've heard not so great reviews. For lunch its unexcusable for a restaurant to be out of 1/2 the RW menu. Did you have a late lunch, like around 2:30-3pm? What a waste.

    1. One of my colleagues has gone both for lunch and dinner. She said the dinner service was a lot better than the lunch service. The colleague and her husband gave a glowing review of the restaurant's service and food this week. Perhaps try going for dinner. That is a shame that they ran out of part of their RW menu.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hopeinmee

        That is a shame that you had such an awful service. My friend and I went there for dinner for RW and the service was just amazing. I even wondered how many servers we had because they were so attentive. My water was never empty, bread crumbs were never present on the table (scrapers were quick to clean up) and just giving recommendations of what is great from the server was perfect. Although I must say that if my server tells me that the wine choice is "Made from grapes," then I would have probably gone to the manager and ask them to give a wine class to the servers.

      2. My co-workers and I also went to Il Mulino for RW on Wed. for lunch. The service was slow--they didn't give us menus for a good 10 minutes, but other than that it was okay...I guess except for when they described the Chicken Fra Diablo as chicken in a spicy sauce and my colleague ended up with chicken and SAUSAGE in a spicy sauce. Since he was Muslim, they had to take it back and give him a version without sausage.

        There were 3 entrees for RW--the rest of us had the porcini ravioli which tasted great but was a bit chewy which I attributed to being not made that day and previously refrigerated or frozen. The standout was the insalata caprese--I hadn't tasted mozzarella that good in a long time. Desserts were also good. Most of us had the ricotta cheesecake which was festively decorated with fresh berries, a cookie, creme anglaise and whipped cream.

        I was originally nervous about going there due to the Post review from months ago, but at least from a food standpoint, they seemed to have cleaned up their act.