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Il Mondo Vecchio


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Had a 9:30 reservation here in Madison tonight. When the reservation was initially made, I specifically asked whether we would need to wait when we arriived at 9:30, since it is later than we usually dine. I was told at that time that I needn't worry. When we arrived at 9:25, there were many parties already waiting and so I asked the hostess how long a wait she expected. We were told that we would likely wait 10-15 minutes. Considering the fact that it would take us that long to reach an alternate destination and besides, we had no reservation elsewhere and it's a Saturday night, we decided to wait. In the end we were not seated until 50 minutes later (45 minutes after our reservation time). Am I being unreasonable to assume that this is totally unacceptable? I could possibly understand if this were a new restaurant, but an establishment that has been around for years should, I would think, have a better handle on the reservations booking process in order to minimize wait times. BTW, they were also accepting walk-ins in spite of the fact that they weren't able to promptly seat reserved guests. I would appreciate other opinions in this regard......

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I fully understand that sometimes there are unexpected events which cannot be controlled. Under this type of circumstance, I would not be justified in blaming the individual that told me that I wouldn't have to wait when I initially made the reservation, but certainly once at the restaurant, a more accurate estimate of waiting time should have been given. If I knew that we would be waiting a minimum of 30 minutes and likely longer, I might have opted not to wait.......

A small appetizer plate was served to the many people waiting, but these are normally served to everyone once seated. In answer to your question regarding the quality of the food, I believe that it would be difficult to be totally objective given the circumstances, but in the past we have very much enjoyed the food there. A pasta dish was ordered by my husband who specifically asked for very little sauce. When brought to the table the waiter immediately realized that the bowl was filled with sauce and asked if he should return it to the kitchen. Given the fact that it was close to 11 pm my husband opted not to return it. After we declined ordering dessert, a complementary tirmasu was brought to the table....

Although I know that the reservation process is not an exact science, in my experience it just seems to me that certain restaurants consistently do a better job than others and I'm not quite sure of the reasons for this.....

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Sounds like something went wrong there. I've dined at Il Mondo many times and never had a problem. Did you talk to the manager or hostess? If you are feel that you need to speak to someone ask to speak to Nancy and tell her what happened. For those who are not familiar with the restaurant it is BYO and there is only a small hallway in which you can wait. Certainly if there was a bar area the wait would have been a bit more tolerable but certainly inexcusable.

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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shit happens.

but i'm not sure what your beef is.

as far as walk-ins getting seated before reserved parties, i'm not sure that one could know all of the details. i mean, how could you know if these people had no reservations? what if they were regular customers who always get priority seating regardless? you get the point. the customer really doesn't know the specifics of what goes on in situations like that. i'd say if you somehow felt that you and your party were slighted, a letter to the restaurant would be your best approach. additionally, if you're still not comfortable with the outcome, don't return to that restaurant.

edited for clarity.

Edited by tommy (log)
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Sounds like something went wrong there. I've dined at Il Mondo many times and never had a problem.

I've dined there a few times, and have had waits similar to what has been described. Reservations are desirable, but they don't trump friends of the house. If you are known to the house, you get seated ahead of folks who are waiting. If you don't like that, find another restaurant, which I have.

The Star Ledger's 1996 reviewer had a similar problem with a confirmed reservation and an hour's wait for both of their visits. The review described it in excruiating detail including folks walking in and being seated immediately. To the house's credit, these problems seem to have disappeared by their 1999 review.

Food is wonderful, but not any better than L'Alleghria about two blocks away. Prices are similar, service is similar, although L'A has a liquor license and MV doesn't. That's meaningful if you want a BYO.

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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I don't know every detail, but i think a 45 minute wait for a confirmed res is pretty bush. C'mon folks, 10:15 for a *confirmed* 9:30!?! Much may have happened, but some compensation should be expected. Vote with yer feet *and* wallets.

Paul: No better than Allegriglia?? Double bush.

Nick

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If you are known to the house, you get seated ahead of folks who are waiting. If you don't like that, find another restaurant, which I have.

I do believe that I'll be taking your advice, though I'd have to agree with Nick that L'Alleghria is not in the same category as Il Mondo Vecchio, at least in regard to the quality of the food...

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  • 3 years later...

Does anyone know if this place is still BYO or if they now have a liquor license? Their website has a heading for "Wines" but nothing comes up when you click on it--it shares the website with the sister website for Scalini Fedeli, so maybe the header applies to that location?

Casey

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