Chapel Hill: Il Palio Brunch Fiasco
I've frequently been to Il Palio for the weekend buffet brunch. The food was been spectacular and suffered inevitably from the chafing-dish treatment, but the variety was fun and the dining room was pleasant. With a large party in tow, I showed up last weekend to find the buffet replaced by a menu.
The meal, in short, was a fiasco. About half of our large party ordered the cheese ravioli with lobster and morels. The dish was good enough. The problem was quantity: the $17 plate came with only four or five teeny-tiny raviolis, making for a 45-second meal and doing nothing to assuage appetites that had come prepared for a large brunch. My own plate came with one marble-sized piece of lobster.
Many at the table ordered either the margharita or the salmon-topped "breakfast pizza." I cannot emphasize enough the worthlessness of this pizza. The crust was like pita bread that had been baked for four or five hours to a stage of complete dessication. It was effectively inedible, and in retrospect I think we should have sent the whole lot back to the kitchen. This was some of the worst pizza I have ever tried, worse even than many a frozen pizza.
We then had a full complement of desserts, which were consistently mediocre.
I have not had dinner at Il Palio in a few years, but this latest brunch experience does not encourage me to return. I wonder if the restaurant has undergone a general decline.