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osteria giotto


bill70
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There is a thread about Osteria Giotto here (click), Bill! OG usually gets good reviews here.

I can also highly recommend Blu and Fascino, both in Montclair, both BYO, and both terrific--and certainly appropriate for a special celebration. Let us know where you end up!

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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Personally I like OG better than Fascino but that's just me. You will enjoy any one of the three mentioned here though. OG will be bigger portions and cheaper than Fascino and not as "stuffy." Fascino is a great place but I;d go elsewhere for dessert, IMO that is the only part of their place that lacks.

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." ~Winston Churchill

Morels- God's gift to the unworthy human species

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Personally I like OG better than Fascino but that's just me.  You will enjoy any one of the three mentioned here though.  OG will be bigger portions and cheaper than Fascino and not as "stuffy."  Fascino is a great place but I;d go elsewhere for dessert, IMO that is the only part of their place that lacks.

Not just you! I'll out myself now as one of the few who is disappointed by (okay, unimpressed with) Fascino, where I've had uneven meals--as in a couple of great dishes rounded out by a couple of okay-to-lousy ones. By contrast, I've never had a bad meal at Giotto. That is, when I can get in.

Friends and I who lunch together monthly, more for conversation than food, went to Giotto in December and it was fantastic. (Unfortunately, all I remember at the moment was the risotto special, which I split, and a really fine salad.) I think it's one of the more under-discussed restaurants in town.

Susan

edited to add: By the way, if you're thinking of any of these three places, make your decision asap and call now! It's getting ridiculously difficult to dine in Montclair. And as a backup, I'd suggest Indigo Smoke, especially for a more down-to-earth, fun celebration. That's some good eatin'!

Edited by SusanGiff (log)
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On everyone's rec, we are going here this evening.  I will report.  I called at around 11:00, and got a reservation for 9:00pm.  Friday night.  So not too bad.

We did end up dining here last week. The place was packed, loud, and crowded...not something I enjoy. We were lucky and got a table outside of the main dining area near the hostess stand. Much better. The service was bothersome...the waiter did not give the prices with the specials, and when I asked, he seemed annoyed. My friend ordered 'still' water. I had not heard this term before, and what she meant was tap water...we got bottled 'still' water which she returned. Now the waiter really was not happy. The food came without incident and it was good. We had the Spaggetii with Seafood, and Scallops grilled over peppers/onions/potatoes. Big portions and tasty. Good. Never offered pepper/cheese..never asked if all was well. Okay...after dinner he appears...coffee etc. We get the coffee which I returned because it was watered down..terrible. Fascino is perfection in terms of service, atmosphere, and the food is damn good. This place was unprofessional by contrast. It is also a lot more affordable and an entirely different cuisine. Yet the atmosphere alone would keep me from going back.

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i'm annoyed just reading about how annoyed that server was.

"still" water is not tap, though. it generally means bottled water without bubbles. no reason to get annoyed, though. it's just water.

website? the *other* thread on this restaurant doesn't seem to have one either. :rolleyes:

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Agreed. I don't think its appropriate for a diner to feel any tension or annoyance from the wait staff. My feeling would be, as yours was, that I just won't return anymore, why cause such annoyance to the staff?

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On everyone's rec, we are going here this evening.  I will report.  I called at around 11:00, and got a reservation for 9:00pm.  Friday night.  So not too bad.

We did end up dining here last week. The place was packed, loud, and crowded...not something I enjoy. We were lucky and got a table outside of the main dining area near the hostess stand. Much better. The service was bothersome...the waiter did not give the prices with the specials, and when I asked, he seemed annoyed. My friend ordered 'still' water. I had not heard this term before, and what she meant was tap water...we got bottled 'still' water which she returned. Now the waiter really was not happy. The food came without incident and it was good. We had the Spaggetii with Seafood, and Scallops grilled over peppers/onions/potatoes. Big portions and tasty. Good. Never offered pepper/cheese..never asked if all was well. Okay...after dinner he appears...coffee etc. We get the coffee which I returned because it was watered down..terrible. Fascino is perfection in terms of service, atmosphere, and the food is damn good. This place was unprofessional by contrast. It is also a lot more affordable and an entirely different cuisine. Yet the atmosphere alone would keep me from going back.

All due respect, but tommy's right -- "tap" is tap and "still" water refers to exactly what you got. If it were me (and I'm not really suggesting that this is the correct course of action, merely what I would have done) I would have kept the bottle given that ordering it was, in fact, my mistake. That said, I've stopped frequenting restaurants for exactly this kind of crappy attitude.

"All humans are out of their f*cking minds -- every single one of them."

-- Albert Ellis

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All due respect, but tommy's right --  "tap" is tap and "still" water refers to exactly what you got. If it were me (and I'm not really suggesting that this is the correct course of action, merely what I would have done) I would have kept the bottle given that ordering it was, in fact, my mistake. That said, I've stopped frequenting restaurants for exactly this kind of crappy attitude.

Sure, there was a misunderstanding, and "still" does generally mean bottled water without gas; but it's still good business for the restaurant to graciously "take the hit" on this less-than-$1 bottle of water. Making the customer uncomfortable accomplishes little. The ultimate goal is to give the customer an experience that will encourage him/her to want to return (and return). What's the good of the restaurant being "right" and half-empty?

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All due respect, but tommy's right --  "tap" is tap and "still" water refers to exactly what you got. If it were me (and I'm not really suggesting that this is the correct course of action, merely what I would have done) I would have kept the bottle given that ordering it was, in fact, my mistake. That said, I've stopped frequenting restaurants for exactly this kind of crappy attitude.

Sure, there was a misunderstanding, and "still" does generally mean bottled water without gas; but it's still good business for the restaurant to graciously "take the hit" on this less-than-$1 bottle of water. Making the customer uncomfortable accomplishes little. The ultimate goal is to give the customer an experience that will encourage him/her to want to return (and return). What's the good of the restaurant being "right" and half-empty?

I agree; if the point was raised they should have been gracious in taking the bottle back. I probably would have just asked for a few wedges of lime.

"All humans are out of their f*cking minds -- every single one of them."

-- Albert Ellis

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[

I agree; if the point was raised they should have been gracious in taking the bottle back. I probably would have just asked for a few wedges of lime.

A smart waiter would bring the sealed bottle to the table, and open it table-side for the customer. If the customer didn't want it--no harm done! The bottle could have been taken back, no money lost.

Much like they do with a bottle of wine. They don't open the bottle in the back and then bring it out. It's very important to confirm the order while the bottle is sealed. Otherwise it is just a lack of foresight of the waiter and/or the restaurant at large.

Blessed are those who engage in lively conversation with the helplessly mute, for they shall be called, "Dentists." (anonymous)

Life is too short for bad Caesar Salad. (Me)

Why would you poison yourself by eating a non-organic apple? (HL)

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i'm sure it's procedure to have the bartender open the bottle of water, or have it opened at the source (fridge i suppose), just as it is at practically every restaurant i've ever been to, including world-class restaurants. let's not get crazy and start comparing proper wine service to water service at a neighborhood restaurant. :unsure:

and let's remember we're only getting one side of the story. one person's "rude" or "dismissive" or "bothered" is another's "i didn't notice anything at all."

additionally, we shouldn't confuse a restaurant's "policy" with the actions of a server. a totally expected reaction would be for the server to take back the bottle. while, if you interviewed the owner the next day (or even the server) and ask what should have been done, they'd probably say "i guess we should have just given the confused customer the bottle of water." hindsight: something seemingly reserved for and exploited by internet discussion boards, but rarely afforded to restaurant owners.

Edited by tommy (log)
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The water was brought out by the busboy who opened it and poured prior to asking if it was what we wanted...and I understand..she ordered it. However, she immediately told the waiter that we had not touched it, and did not want it. He said "How would you like it if I poured the water back in the bottle and then sold it to you?" At that point, we knew he was not pleased. And in all honesty, I could give a darn if it did not please him, especially as she was immediate in her explaining her mistake. Take the water back and shut the f... up. That is my feeling anyway...especially as a ex server who worked in NYC..... As mentioned, this is not an indictment of the restaurant as a whole..just the server. One attitude ridden server. Enough to make me think twice about returning and dealing with him again.

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We've been there a few times. The food is good, prices reasonable. We've talked to the guy who we thought was the owner (or at least the manager) and he was concerned about our opinion and happiness.

if you detect "attitude" from the waiter, perhaps it's a good idea to talk to the owner, manager or maitre d'. Giotto is the type of place where I think that they'd care.

i do think that the still vs. tap confusion was caused by the diner, but the staff should have just chalked it up and move on. Now we're all wondering who the nasty waiter is.

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The water was brought out by the busboy who opened it and poured prior to asking if it was what we wanted...and I understand..she ordered it.  However, she immediately told the waiter that we had not touched it, and did not want it.  He said "How would you like it if I poured the water back in the bottle and then sold it to you?"  At that point, we knew he was not pleased.  And in all honesty, I could give a darn if it did not please him, especially as she was immediate in her explaining her mistake.  Take the water back and shut the f... up.  That is my feeling anyway...especially as a ex server who worked in NYC..... As mentioned, this is not an indictment of the restaurant as a whole..just the server.  One attitude ridden server.  Enough to make me think twice about returning and dealing with him again.

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Sorry, I'm still trying to figure out how to quote and respond on one page! :unsure: Anyhow, I'm sure that the owners (who are lovely people) would never condone or accept this kind of behavior from their staff. I know I wouldn't.

It's really important to let management know when a staff member behaves this way. Keeping on top of staff is difficult, and constructive feedback is always appreciated. When patrons let us know about this kind of thing, it 1.) gives us the opportunity to make ammends, and 2.) gives us the opportunity to take whatever corrective measures are necessary with the staff.

Joanne

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He said "How would you like it if I poured the water back in the bottle and then sold it to you?"  At that point, we knew he was not pleased.

:shock:

i would have knocked him on his ass.

Agreed.

Blessed are those who engage in lively conversation with the helplessly mute, for they shall be called, "Dentists." (anonymous)

Life is too short for bad Caesar Salad. (Me)

Why would you poison yourself by eating a non-organic apple? (HL)

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The water was brought out by the busboy who opened it and poured prior to asking if it was what we wanted...and I understand..she ordered it.  However, she immediately told the waiter that we had not touched it, and did not want it.  He said "How would you like it if I poured the water back in the bottle and then sold it to you?"  At that point, we knew he was not pleased.  And in all honesty, I could give a darn if it did not please him, especially as she was immediate in her explaining her mistake.  Take the water back and shut the f... up.  That is my feeling anyway...especially as a ex server who worked in NYC..... As mentioned, this is not an indictment of the restaurant as a whole..just the server.  One attitude ridden server.  Enough to make me think twice about returning and dealing with him again.

Well, this changes everything. At that point, I would have been livid and likely to follow Tommy's lead. At the very least I would have gotten the manager tableside immediately.

"All humans are out of their f*cking minds -- every single one of them."

-- Albert Ellis

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