La Ghianda is an Italian deli serving coffee, pastries, freshly made sandwiches and pastas for lunch. Dinners to go are also available.
I heard about this place because they are the deli for the great restaurant La Quercia that is across the corner. I had an excellent meal there in the past so I had to try out this place for lunch. I went there on a saturday and the place was jam packed with 2 couples waiting for the next 2 available tables. It's small so I got the soup & sandwich to go instead of waiting. It was minestrone soup with a porchetta/artichoke sandwich. The food was awesome so I decided to return on a tuesday to try out the pasta.
I came in on a tuesday around 12:30 and the place was full again, there were 2 groups ahead of me again, they said about a 15 minute wait so I stayed this time. I had the special, $10 Campanelle. The size was a nice little lunch portion and the pasta was cooked a little more firm (like how it's done in Italy) It was great, afterwords I had a $3 cappuccino (average) with a dessert, the $4 chocolate bunet which was nice.
Overall I think this is a great little lunch spot to have a quick tasty italian lunch. Just try not to come at the peak lunch time to avoid waiting. I will be back when I'm in the area.
I guess the owners didn't think I deserved a response to my letter, so I thought to post it here instead. I hope it's helpful to them and to customers.
"Dear Adam and Lucais,
I thought to drop you a line as opposed to writing a cranky posting on Dine Here. I'm guessing you're the sort of business that sees the benefit in customer feedback.
I had lunch today at La Ghianda with a friend who adores the place. I've been there once before when it was a counter cafe, and have to say I really liked the reno and the new format.
I was less impressed with the server. (A few Google clicks and I discovered his name is Kevin Van Hullebush). He was dead-pan, unfriendly, lacked any kind of warmth and did a series of bizarre things I'd never seen any decent server do.
My friend was enquiring about the pasta; he loves it at La Ghianda and was under the impression it was made in house. Kevin dead-panned that it was from a box (which is fine), and then picked a piece of uncooked pasta off the wall of all places and showed it to him. Maybe this was his schtick, but it really put my friend off ordering any pasta.
When I mentioned that the anchovy pizette didn't taste of anchovy (seriously, not at all) and only onions, Kevin informed me that he had a "Sicilian cook in the back who would tell me otherwise." Perhaps more schtick, but I'm not sure why any server would choose to correct or disagree with a diner who's providing honest feedback. I told him it didn't matter to me, I ordered the dish because I like anchovies, and it didn't taste like anchovies. "So you want a side of anchovies," he replied, "is that what you're asking?" My response? "Is that what you're offering?" He then gamely brought me the anchovies. Still, not a comfortable exchange.
When my main crepe dish was dropped off (with a rather hard landing on the table) I had to endure a quip about there being no anchovies in it. Gentlemen, when I dine out, I'm totally not interested in matching wits with my server. Perhaps he was having a bad day. When he was clearing the table next to us, he dropped a spoon. Then he kicked it several times until it went rattling into the kitchen. Most servers would discreetly pick up the spoon, wouldn't they?
I seriously will have to reconsider joining you at La Ghianda again. I've heard amazing things about La Quercia, but if Kevin's any indication of the staff you're hiring, I might have to skip that too.
Let me know what you think.
Thanks for your time; I know your day is a busy one."
PS: I should mention that the crepe dish was heavenly. Thanks!