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|Address:||43 Blandford Street, London W1U 7HF|
|Tel:||020 7768 6565|
|Price: £56.00||Wine: £28.00||Champagne: £68.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Fri 12N-3pm 6-10.30pm Sat-Sun 12.30-4pm 6.30-10.30pm (Sun -10pm)|
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
First things first – if you not only appreciate good food for your money but also good service – do not eat at this restaurant. I have never received such offensive, rude patronising service from a manager as I did last night. I pride myself on enjoying good food and good service. So when an offer came to have dinner at Il Baretto on Blandford Street last night – I jumped at the chance. I checked the menu online beforehand and couldn’t wait to sample what they had on offer. Things started off fantastically – the atmosphere was wonderful and the menu looked so appealing that we all struggled to choose just one starter and main course. But the first couple of slip ups started occurring with the service. The waitress – as shy and sweet as she seemed kept forgetting drinks orders, dropping cutlery on members of our party and completely forgot to bring our white wine over from the ice bucket. But the starters came and redeemed the slight lapse in service as they were all delicious.
But the deciding point in the evening came with the main course. I had ordered the sirloin steak with rocket and parmesan and asked for it medium. It turned up and looked delicious – but one bite proved that not only was this dish not medium, it wasn’t even well done, a more apt description would be ‘leather on a plate’. But still, these things happen in a busy kitchen so no grudges held, I merely showed the waitress, pointed out that I had ordered my meat medium and awaited my new, correctly cooked main course as the first attempt was simple inedible (and as it cost £22 – one would expect a lot more). Whilst waiting for the new attempt, the manager came over – one would assume to apologise – but no, to patronise. He came and said to me “you want the next dish medium rare then” implying that I had ordered incorrectly and sent back a medium steak because I wanted something different to what I had ordered. I responded that I was quite happy with it medium but the previous dish was so overcooked it was inedible. He then said it was my fault for taking too long to eat the dish as, as it is served in a hot pan, it carries on cooking until eaten. But surely if you order a medium steak, it should be presented to you medium and the fact that it carries on cooking on the plate should be factored into the cooking time. At a time when most staff would be apologetic he resorted to an accusatory, patronising manner that was both rude and offensive . One very big mark against them.
Twenty five minutes after I sent the first dish back, when all the rest of my party had finished their dishes and started to fall asleep, my dish still hadn’t arrived – bear in mind I was waiting on a medium steak – not a slow cooked meal. It got to the point that I said to my waiter that they should just cancel my dish as I had lost my appetite. But he then turned up with the dish apologising for the delay, I then said to the apologetic waiter that this had got ridiculous how long I had had to wait – he whimpered off. Then 30 seconds later – the same manager from before marched up to our table, saying “she said what” out loud as he stomped towards me. I responded saying this was ridiculous how long I had waited. He said they were busy and it is standard to wait twenty minutes for a main course – that may be the case on the first attempt but not when they crucified their first attempt at your dish. I pointed out that it wasn’t my fault the dish had to be redone, it was theirs and cooking it should have been a priority and that the waiter said there had been problems in the kitchen– a point which he refuted. So not only had he been patronising, then the service had been painfully slow, but then he refused to even apologise for the delay. But to add insult to injury and just to bolster his ego he throws in, in once again, an extremely patronising tone –“You had better start eating this one quickly before it ends up too well cooked for you”. I cannot even begin to explain how offensively he was acting towards me when he should have been apologetic.
So as soon as the dish came we asked for the bill – which of course, had service included. So in summary what can I say about this place? The food – very nice Italian food, the atmosphere – lively and fun, the staff and service – abysmal. And for that reason I could not recommend this restaurant to anyone and would firmly encourage you to take your custom elsewhere. Had the manager been graceful and apologetic for what was obviously his restaurant’s fault – I would be the first to recommend the food here (aside from the steak!) but service that poor, accusatory and offensive cannot be ignored – the service at Pizza Express is more gracious and polite and a Pizza Express bill doesn’t come to over £200!