My husband and I were given a gift certificate from my employer to try out La Quercia for christmas, knowing how much we love little boutique restaurants we had been wanting to go for a while. Problem being I have some (still relatively new to me) dietary restrictions, and I'm a vegetarian. Before she purchased the gc she went in to the restaurant in person and spoke with the people there letting them know all the things I can't have and asked if it would be possible to accommodate me or if she was best to try some place else. They were enthusiastic in promising if we booked our reservation a few days in advance they would work their daily specials around to have something on the menu for me and create me something special. Let me tell you... we booked on a Sunday afternoon and dined on a thursday night. Upon arrival our server asked me what I wanted, much to my surprise. I told her again the items I could not have and said my only request is that I don't get a plate of vegetables, because I could make that at home and is typically a big disappointment when eating out.
The only thing on the menu that was vegetarian was pasta. Any other veggies out there know, nothing is a bigger let down when eating out. Just because I have ethics, doesn't mean I don't like good food! Any well rounded chef should have the ability to produce something else.
I get the feeling the girl serving us was relatively new, because wasn't much help with the wine list. If I say I'm looking for something like a Viognier don't drink me a chard. For our starter I ordered an arugula salad with pine nuts and parmesan, tasty but incredibly boring. The cheese was quite mild and there were few pine nuts. I ended up just chewing miles of arugula and couldn't finish it, the salad was definitely missing something. My husband ordered off the fresh sheet; pulled pork tortellini with pork belly. He said it was good but boring as well, was ultimately disappointed with it.
Then the main course, the look on her face said it all as she was approaching the table with our dishes... He had the rabbit wrapped in prosciutto. Me, a plate with some green bitters (that tasted like gasoline, literally), 3 baby potatoes (1/2 inch each), 10 green beans, some soggy spinach, and a cut up radish. No puree, no sauce, no salt or pepper.... NOTHING. I nearly cried at the table, I was SO let down. I ate a couple beans and asked her to take it away. The rabbit was good apparently, but the rabbit at La Brasserie (Monday night special) still beat it by a long shot.
We decided to drown our sorrows (and use the damn gift certificate) so we ordered desert. One of each (as I has still hungry) and shared them. They were TO.DIE.FOR. And almost, just almost, made up for the rest of the meal. We had a poached pair and a flourless chocolate cake with pistachio gelato. Really really tasty!
So the bill arrives. They comp us one of our $7 deserts for the disappointment with my meal, and in turn charge that pathetic plate or flavourless steamed veg; $21 (That I didn't even eat)! What a joke! The snooty man server (who really reminds us of that old ass kisser from Parkside who used to drum on about "the flavours") then steps in and tries to get confrontational saying "oh, well when you made the reservation I said it was an italian restaurant"... OK. You don't go claiming to be so accommodating and eager to please someone with dietary restrictions if you can't!! It's as simple as that.
So he claims he must talk to the chef/owner about it, struts into the kitchen to fill him in. The chef/owner then tells him to take it off (not only can we see them, but they're a mere 5 feet away in the kitchen and we can hear them too) the chef then turn around towards us and mumbles "why the f* did you come here then?!"
We won't be back, that's for sure.