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Feb 5, 2010 02:48 PM

Convivio- avoid and especially avoid during RW

I've eaten at Convivio three times in the past six months. The occasional very good dish has hoodwinked me into coming back and overlooking the restaurant's failings but after last Sunday's meal I am finished with this restaurant.

Our party of four each ordered the RW 3-course. I tried the mushroom soup and the chicken liver crostini. Both were solid but not spectacular and both were what you might expect. I then tried the mackerel and the pork shoulder over polenta. I am a big fan of mackerel but wasn't thrilled. The fish itself was perhaps a bit overdone and lacked flavor. I tried to rectify this by making sure each bite had some caper and pancetta. When mixed together the dish worked but could have been spectacular with properly cooked fish. The fish portion size was also weak. The pork shoulder was a solid rustic dish that felt as if you prepared it at home (and were an Italian grandmother). However, it didn't have a spark. The salted caramel tart was excellent as always.

The truly appalling part of the meal was the service. I recognize that restaurants don't always put their best foot forward during RW. However, this was a disgrace.

The timing of the service was off the entire meal with periods of complete lack of attention mixed with bus boys virtually taking plates while I was still eating. The server's attitude was also a problem.

On top of that there were actual miscues. One of my dining companions ordered a beer and the server's pour created a glass that was 80% head. He then came up with a laughable story about how this beer was "dangerous" to pour and that we should alert him when my friend wanted to refill the glass. My mackerel dish had some sort of accident between the kitchen and our table. Everything was scattered throughout the plate. These aren't that big of a deal and I really focus more on taste than presentation but I think they reflect the lack of care put forth.

Our previous meal took place about 3 months ago. This meal was highlighted by grit in both mine and my GF's swiss chard in our Anatra duck course. We pointed this out and the server apologized and gave us each an extra dessert. This was a nice gesture but the third and most important course was ruined and we already were getting desserts and didn't really want another.

I've greatly enjoyed several dishes like the Fusilli and the Maccheroni alla Carbonara but I can't see spending $62 for such a hit or miss restaurant.

45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

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  1. "the food is terrible here"; "yes, and such small portions" - from annie hall

    1. I don't particularly like the salted caramel tart - too dense and chewy and even too sweet for my tastebuds. I agree that service during RW is particularly bad. But I'm glad I went back after RW because it was a far better meal outside of RW.

      1 Reply
      1. re: windycity

        My most recent visit to Convivio, which was a couple of weeks before RW.....we also had several major service glitches, not to mention the most sour faced, uninterested server I have had in a long time.

      2. I went last night to Convivio (last night of RW). The food was all tasty, but my entree serving of fish was a paltry 1.5 sq. inch cube of sea bass--maybe 2 bites, not worth leaving the house for, however good. I was bothered by the portions at Convivio in the past, but NEVER again. I'm done with this place.

        1. I must say, I had a completely different experience at Convivio from those expressed here, i.e., really delightful! The tail end of RW and we did order from the RW menu. I very much enjoyed my sfizi appetizer of eggplant, mushrooms, and salami; the branzino with tomato sauce and olives was simple and delicious with crispy skin and properly firm; and the chocolate caramel tart are real treat. The Sullivant Street Bakery olive bread was outstanding. From entering to leaving, all staff were very friendly, the service at our table was spot on. My first time there and I would definitely return.