My husband and I ate there on Saturday May 12, 2012. As soon as we walked in it was evident they were understaffed. The hostess showed us to our table. I pulled out my chair which was very wet from having been wiped down and then dripped on I used an extra napkin to dry it. After sitting I relocated the condiments next me only to find the table sticky and wet I again wiped the table with a napkin. After a lengthy wait the hostess attended to us. We placed our order requesting a bottle of wine from a very mediocre list. The wine glasses were entirely inappropriate, greatly undersized for enjoying a red wine. We see a couple two tables away with the correct red wine glasses and request the same from the hostess. She checks and reports back the nice red wine glasses are the only two available they have changed to new glasses.
Our appetizer arrived. I took one of the plates that had been waiting on the table and find it with dry crusted food. I take a second plate it too is dirty, my husband takes a third and it is also dirty 3 of 4 is bad. How will I resolve this since we have not yet seen a wait person only the hostess. I see her on the staircase scanning the room and get her attention. She apologizes, says she will send the manager over right away and offers to comp our meal should we decide to stay. We questioned her about what to expect and she assures us the food is good.
Our entree choices were very good. The salmon was properly cooked the risotto was not pasty, the gnocchi was delicious. However, that manager that was to come over right away did not come talk with us until long after the hostess had determined our meal was satisfactory. He had walked past us probably 3 or 4 times and never said a word. We think is behavior was cowardly.
We visited with the hostess to learn more about who owns the restaurant why are they so understaffed on a Saturday night. She had been there a year and they had at least 3 different chefs, and they are unable to keep wait staff thus all the wait staff on this evening were new. Sounds like a management problem.
The Midtown Crossing area has too much competition for this restaurant to survive unless it under goes a major transformation. After a year of turmoil our hardworking/multitasking hostess/wait person shared that she will be working at a new job on Monday. We plan to visit her at Blue Sushi!
It is unlikely that we will visit Portovino again.
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