My boyfriend, Charles, and I had dinner with my parents and my brother to celebrate my mom and my brother’s birthdays last Saturday. I googled and at the same time used the Open Table app at the iPad to look for a nice Italian restaurant serving pizzas at the North End. Finally I got one Italian restaurant, Antico Forno, serving with traditional brick oven pizzas (I was surprised to find that not many Italian restaurants serve pizzas though). The restaurant seemed having a pretty good review from the diners. So, I guess it’s a pretty good choice. Instead of placing my reservation through opentable.com, I decided to call the restaurant, just to make sure that they aware that I was planning to have a birthday dinner for my mom and my brother over there, and I was expecting a nice table to be reserved. Besides, I wanted to check if their cake is big enough to serve as a birthday cake or I need to bring my own.
The food at Antico Forno was not bad. My parents, my brother, Charles and I all enjoyed the brick oven baked pizza with homemade Italian sausage very much. In fact, the food in general was fine. We had soup, pizza, risotto and meat ball pasta. However, we were not very satisfied about the service at the restaurant.
First of all, the receptionist seemed having no idea that I have called for a table for 5. Although she has checked the list for my name which she has at her hands at the entrance, she still thought I booked a table for 2. She was about to bring my boyfriend and me to a table, but then I immediately told her that I’ve actually booked a table for 5. Then, she asked us to wait at the bar.
I thought by the time we got there, we would be directed to the reserved table. However, they asked us to wait at the bar for the table to be set. Okay, that’s fine. I suppose the restaurant was too busy to get that ready. But, the point is, after waiting for about 5 minutes, and seeing those walk-ins got their tables already, we felt like it’s no point to call and reserve a table. So, we asked how long we still needed to wait.
After waiting for about 10 minutes, we finally got a table. But, wait. Right at the entrance?! I thought they would set us a table at a more cozy environment as I’ve called and made my point clearly that I was expecting a nice table for the birthday dinner, rather than in the middle of the heavy traffic by the entrance.
So, another 5 minutes or so, we were finally settled at a table right in front of the brick oven. I felt better about this arrangement. But then, our waitress wasn’t smart enough to handle a party of 5 especially when there are guests celebrating their birthdays.
Throughout the dinner, she wasn’t very attentive. She ignored us a few times before we could place our order after we settled. She even had a pretty rude tone to tell us that she’d “be right back” after the 4th time we asked for her for orders.
So, when it comes to the time for dessert, we asked her to bring the cake out. Out of our surprise, she said she didn’t know about the cake. She said she’d go ask for that. Oh well, I mean, if she really didn’t know about the cake, wouldn’t it sound better if she kept her smile to us and say, “Sure, I’ll bring it out.” Then, asked others if they know about that. She didn’t deserve a big tip.
Okay, here came the cake. Instead of coming over to say the birthday song with us at the table, that waitress went away and did something else. Hello, wouldn’t it be nice if you could come over, or even bring your friends to come sing with us? There was another table having birthday party like us on the same night. Look at other waiter serving that table, he’s smart enough to sing with the guest by the table.
When we got the bill, the 20% tip was included in the bill for we were having a party of 5, regarding a big group at the restaurant. I mean, I don’t mind giving a big tip. But the point is, if they expect a big tip for a big group because they need to cater the guest with more time and service, show me those! Then, I’ll be more than happy to come again with a big group for dinner.
Since my reservation wasn’t done through opentable.com, I wasn’t eligible to give my comments over there. That’s too bad. I can only “yak” here at my blog and hoping someone can read my comment for Antico Forno at the North End, Boston.