Paci, Southport, CT - Review
I had high expectations for Paci in Southport after reading about it here and on a few other sites. Being young parents that both work more than full-time we don't get out as often as we did when we lived in Manhattan - I have to say I was very disappointed in the service. It took over 5 minutes to get menus and another 10 for our drink order to be taken. This is for a 2-top 9pm Saturday ressie - long after the rush has died. The food was above average. We started with the meat/cheese app that was delightful. I had a glass of the Bolgheri - which was great. For the mains - I had pappardelle with braised short ribs and my wife had the veal ravioli. Both pastas were very fresh and prepared/plated well/simply. We then ordered desert and drinks - a glass of desert wine with the almond cake for me and a decaf cappuccino with the cannoli for my pregnant wife. The deserts arrived before the drinks - both taking way to long. My wife's cappucino was determined to be caffeinated about halfway through her drinking it AFTER asking to make sure it was decaf. The deserts were both very good. The table behind us was very upset b/c they had been waiting for over a half hour for their cappuccino - this had an effect on the end of our meal b/c they were so visibly and audibly perturbed and no one seemed to care but them. The whole evening was a rotation of different waiters and servers that seemed to have no communication amongst each other or the kitchen. We also observed the woman in the kitchen who seemed to be running the show getting upset that people were asking for their desert/coffee/etc. - not wise in front of a large open serving window. There were plenty of servers/bussers/hosts/etc. on the floor and it didn't seem like anyone should have been in the weeds - but they were all a bit frantic.
I have to say for the price we paid we will not be going back. Service at the 30/plate should be at a higher level. The food was good but not enough to make up for poor service.
Paci is a great restaurant, the food is fabulous and the service has always been topnotch for us. We've been going there regularly for about 12 years. We were actually there friday night and had a wonderful meal and experience. If you liked the food as much as you did, I would suggest going back for another try. If you were that unhappy with the service, you should have said something to Nino, the maitre d'. He is very gracious and accomodating. I think it is pretty standard in italian restaurants to bring the desserts before the coffee/after dinner drinks, although I'm not saying a long wait is acceptable. I prefer to have them served together as well, so we usually request that when we are in an italian place. Don't write it off...the food is consistently great.