First, the positives. With two quite small children amongst us, at our request, we were seated on the outside patio. It was perfect - a pleasantly warm evening, we were the only diners out there, and the waitress was exceptional. She is a "veteran" at this restaurant, well-known and highly regarded by local residents [of whom my son and his family who live in Mt. View are included]. I am sorry that Ihave misplaced her name; her goal was our pleasure and the childrens' comfort level. Everything for which she was responsible was expertly and most genially attended. Then came the food: In the way of starters: The calamari was fresh but badly fried; the breading was soggy - not a hint of crispness anywhere, and dish itself was oddly bland. Tasteless, actually. Entrees: It took a LONG time! To her credit, the server took care of the children in a timely fashion; their dishes were simple pasta and soup. One of the adults had a steak that was ordered medium and appeared on the rarer side of MR. We had waited so long for the order that she chose not to pursue it with the kitchen, ate little, but took the meat home to be fixed for next-day's leftovers. At the server's suggestion I ordered one of the daily specials, Osso Bucco. I like this dish muchy and, order it whenever it is on the menu and recommended [one of only a few miscues by our server]. It was a serious disappointment: The dish was as bland as the starter, not sufficiently warmed when served, and gravy/au jus was,sadly, greasy. In placing my order I indicated perhaps a salad following the entree. Without asking, another server altogether brought the salad before the request was made. As it was, I had decided not to order the salad. That server, when informed of that, simply nodded and walked away, sans salad. When the table was cleared the salad went along and -- of course -- it appeared as an entry on the bill. The other server came to collect the check and I pointed out the error. Some words were exchanged, but ultimately it was removed. Finally, the recommended red wine was a serious disappointment, and way overpriced [my fault - I didn't ask the bottle's price when negotiating]. By the time we were finished with all of this, we all wanted out. Pronto. I thanked our server for her fine service, mentioned that I was disappointed on the meal itself, and we departed. In passing through the dining room on our exit, some of our experiences were more understandable: a large and boisterous table full of loud diners dominated the room. I saw no other diners but this group of probably several dozen folks celebrating something. They were keeping the staff busy -- including the competent server that tended us outside! OK - I'll chalk it up as a bad evening for them for these reasons. But, it was overall a bad evening for us. I will not return. though my son, who knows the place from previous meals there, insists we had an unusual poor experience. I'll take his word for it.
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