Antico Forno Report
I went with my family on a Saturday night about 2 weeks ago. There were 4 of us and we had a 7:00 reservation. It has been a long time since I have been to a restaurant that completely disregards its reservations, and has no indoor bar or waiting area. We arrived at 7:00 and found a crowd waiting outside of the restaurant (and it was cold that night!). We were told that it would be about a 20 minute wait. After 45 minutes, and catching another patron paying the hostess to move them up on the list, we were finally seated. Is this typical at this restaurant?
That said, we thoroughly enjoyed our meals and our waitress was lovely. But I am not sure we would go back after that treatment, It looks like they are expanding, so maybe the situation will get better. I hope so.
By definition, if you make a reservation, you should be able to go out for dinner on a weekend or any night and expect to be seated at the time you reserved the table for. I've reported before about Antico Forno ignoring its reservations completely. I don't understand why they claim to take them. Luckily, I don't like the food there, and find the seating too cramped, so I wouldn't want to go back anyway.
I think it's reasonable if you show up on time for a reservation to expect to wait about 15 minutes, but if it's much longer than that, somebody up front isn't doing their job well, or the restaurant just doesn't care about honoring reservations. You have to be a little more understanding at very small places; one lingering table can upset the queue for a while.
My own experience of Antico Forno (whose food and prices I like) is that they have a, ahem, fluid attitude about reservations; it's always worse on Fridays and Saturdays, but on weeknights I've never waited more than 15 minutes for a reserved table.
In short, I feel bad for people for whom weekend nights are their only good options for dining out, but as I've said many times, the North End is worth avoiding on weekends (as is, increasingly, the South End). Too many places know they can get away with this kind of customer abuse on those nights.
That's fairly typical for Antico Forno on a Sat. It's a small place, and the only area to wait is either in the door way or outside. They don't like to rush their patrons out the door as soon as the check is laid on the table, which I think is nice. So it is what it is but, the food is very good and reasonable.
Antico Forno has never been good about reservations. I just dine out early 5:00 and don't generally run into a problem. They should be opening their new addition soon, which will have a bar and extra seating. I took a peak in the other day and it looks like it's coming along niceley. Maybe that will ease the crowding.