Connie and I are trying to lose some weight. We're working out regularly with our Kinect. We've cut back on our calories. All the right things. Saturday night we found another way to cut down on calories: Go out for a dinner that is so horrible it's inedible.
Our friends, Joe and Susan (remember them from our Mardi Gras party?) had a $25 off gift certificate to The Villa. They'd not been there in years and suggested we go with them. Game on. Susan was our designated driver. (Thank you, Susan!) On our arrival at The Villa we were a bit concerned because the parking lot was virtually empty. We were greeted at the front desk and told if we were dining to go on upstairs. At the door to the dining room we were greeted and shown to our table. There was one other occupied table - with one couple. Not a good sign.
After a tour of the facility - it's also a spa - we were seated. Each place setting had a small plate with olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar. A nice touch. The menu looked pretty promising. Appetizers included an antipasto plate and a couple of bruschetta. Salads included a house, a caesar and one with fruit. Entrees included chicken marsala, chicken piccata, some pastas and a steak. Connie and I had decided we'd split an appetizer, a salad and an entree. I selected a wine and it arrived at the table. Hmmm, nobody really knew how to serve wine. I was given a taste - rather awkwardly but still given one. Then, all three of our glasses were lined up on the corner of the table and poured. Ok, now, that's interesting. While the wine was being poured, we ate some of the bread. It was passable but just barely.
Our appetizer arrived when Joe and Susan's salad arrived. We'd ordered the antipasto plate. It had three spears of asparagus, a pile of steamed broccoli, four bites of fresh mozzarella, three rolls of proscuitto and some salami. Brown salami. Since Connie and I weren't given individual plates for our appetizer, I proceeded to serve mine on my bread plate. There was still a bit of olive oil there. I ate a bite of the salami and thought it tasted off. I asked Connie if he'd tried it and he said it was fine. Ok, it must've been the olive oil flavor with the salami. I took another bite. Nope, it didn't taste right. I picked it up and smelled it and it smelled of old socks. Susan concurred. Our waitress took it back and said it'd be taken off our bill. Then, she came out and said the chef had said it was just oxidized. Nope, we said, it's bad and shouldn't be served.
Well, now, maybe our entrees would be better. A chicken caesar salad and chicken piccata arived. I said we'd ordered the side caesar, not the chicken. Back it went. Shortly a side caesar arrived. With the most awful dressing I have ever had in my life. I can't really say what it tasted like but I can say I hope I never taste anything like that again. It had croutons alongside. VERY stale bread that'd been kind of baked. They would hurt if you threw them at someone. I spit mine out. Joe had also gotten the chicken piccata. Susan had the chicken marsala. Connie took our entree and split it. I had very little sauce on my plate. What sauce I had was brown. Being a cook and a foodie I know good and well that piccata is lemon. That means the sauce is yellow. Not brown. Turned out the sauce tasted like very salty balsamic vinegar. It too was dreadful. Joe finally said something. Connie and I concurred.
We sat at the table and debated. Do we just pay our bill and leave and tell everyone we know to NEVER go to The Villa? Or, do we do the right thing and tell the chef how incredibly disappointed we were? The four of us feel very strongly about supporting our local restaurants. We avoid chains. We get to know the folks at our favorite restaurants. Joe actually owned seven restaurants 25-30 years ago. The decision was made. We'd have a chat with the chef. We asked our server if we could do so. Out of the bar comes the young lady who'd seated us and opened our wine. Umm, you're the chef? Yes, she says. So, who was actually doing the cooking tonight? A helper she says. At this point we realize we really need to be communicating with the general manager.
A young man - maybe 25 - shows up at our table. We tell him our food was terrible. We go through the problems one by one. Spoiled salami, horrid salad dressing, croutons that'd hurt you if you got one thrown at you, sauce that's not piccata... He asks what we want him to do. I suggest he fire the chef and find someone who can cook. He proceeds to rant and tell us that people compliment him all the time on the food and she's from Disney World (ticket taker maybe?) and she's the best chef he's had. Whew! Talk about defensive. Then, he proceeds to tell us he's going to comp our meals - except for the wine - on the condition that we never come back. Hello????? Does this sound like anyone who actually knows how to manage a restaurant? They've served us an abysmal meal and now he's telling us to never come back? Not a problem. We'll not only never come back we're going to tell everyone we know and post our displeasure on Trip Advisor, Facebook, here etc.
Connie started chatting with the couple at the next table and found they were equally unhappy. But, they'd paid so they decided not to ask for their money back. They did join us at our table while we finished our wine. We had a delightful time chatting with them about Taste of the NFL, Dig-IN and other foodie things. They left shortly before we did.
The best was yet to come. On our way out the general manager - heretofore known as the little twit - was sitting at the front desk with another employee. I asked her who owns the place. She was handing me the gal's business card and he started shouting that he'd already called her and told her how horrid we were and we weren't welcome back. He proceeds to say that he recognizes Joe from when he was a flight attendant and Joe wouldn't buckle his seat belt and threw trash on his floor. The funny thing is that Joe has flown maybe three times in the last ten years and he's never created a ruckus on a plane. So, there was no way that was true. Susan and I had already walked out the front door and were holding it open for Joe and Connie who were still inside looking at something. The little twit started yelling at them telling them to get out of his restaurant. They left and I gave the front door a VERY good slam. Then, the little twit comes outside and starts yelling at us for being rude. Well now, he was just about the most incredibly rude person I've ever met. And the only rude thing I did was slam the door...
Add up spoiled or inedible food and a general manager who obviously needs to find a position NOT involving customer service and all I can say is DON'T go there! I'm sure the Three Stooges would have the perfect line about getting told not to come back but I've never had it happen to me so I'm at a loss...