My review completely agrees with the previous negative review from 8/23/08 as our experience was unfortunately very similar. Our reservation was for 8:30 PM on a Saturday night, and when we arrived on time and entered the premises, the place looked like a zoo—there was a crowd in the lobby area to fight through to even approach the host stand, and the bar was packed with frustrated-looking patrons. When I approached the host to give him our name and reservation time, he appeared to scan a computer screen for 5 seconds and then proceeded to just write down our name, number of people in our party (3), and our arrival time at the end of a very long list of names, as if we were just being added to a waitlist, not being confirmed as a party with reservations. I should have known then that the night would be a disaster. I then asked the host if we would be able to have a table in the bar area (since we enjoy the live music there) as we had requested in our reservation, and he grumbled, “I don’t know, I’ll have to ask Sofia when she gets back.” We then moved over to wait by a wall next to the bar area for 10 minutes. During that time I saw Sofia approach the host numerous times in the same frenzied, unhappy manner as the previous reviewer described her demeanor. I then approached the host again and asked whether we could sit at a table in the bar area that had been vacant since we’d arrived at 8:30, and again he said, “I don’t know, I’ll have to ask Sofia and also I think it is for a party that is ahead of you.” Again, this confirmed the feeling that we were being treated as walk-ins to a cheap restaurant, not customers with reservations to a fine dining establishment. We waited another 10 minutes before one member of our party spotted a second vacant table in the bar area, so we asked again if we could have that table, and were told a third time “I don’t know, I’ll have to check with Sofia and the other hostesses”—during this time we did notice 2 other frenzied hostesses trying to control the mayhem of angry customers waiting to be seated, in addition to Sofia and the other rude male host we’d been dealing with. We were finally seated at 9:05, 35 minutes after arrival with a reservation, at the table that had been open since we’d arrived! Clearly this place has no clue how to manage a restaurant and handle reservations. Also when we were seated, we overheard some patrons arguing with Sofia because their names had been crossed off of the list without them ever having been seated, so they had been standing around for an hour, which confirms that the bad management experienced by that party, myself, and the previous reviewer were not isolated incidents. Luckily our server was very nice, but unfortunately the food was not. My dining companions could not find anything that interested them on the overpriced menu, but I went with the special—panko-crusted, fried softshell crabs. They came out with no panko crumbs, but instead they were deep fried in ordinary, cheap breading like fast food. Further, they were served only over some arugula salad, no rice, potato, etc—they cost $40! Our bill for 3 drinks, 1 appetizer, and 1 dinner was $80! Like the previous reviewer said, Tomatoes and Steve and Cookies are much better fine dining options in Margate. It’s a shame because Sofia is a beautifully decorated restaurant, but the management and food completely ruin it.
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