All Reader Reviews of...
88 Ninth Ave., New York, NY, 10011
at 17th St.
By SherlockG on 9/23/2013
I have lived in the neighborhood since La Bottega's opening and would once have given it a good review. Sadly this has changed, particularly since the ambience is quite nice, but I suspect they are taking advantage of that. On a recent Sunday I had a reservation for 7 but we were awkwardly placed at 2 round tables of different sizes - OK for cocktails maybe, but not for dinner. We then waited almost half an hour for cocktails to arrive and one was missing. After an hour and fifteen minutes we finally received our food order and, again, one order was completely missing. It was a pizza, which we were promised "in a few minutes". The few minutes turned into 20 minutes. During the long delays we consumed 2 bottles of wine, one of which was taken off the check, as was the pizza. The total "comp" was approximately $38. (After cocktails, we might not have gone through the second bottle of wine if we had not had such a long wait.) The biggest swindle, however, is that they slapped us with an 18% service charge for abominable service. They justify this for large parties, completely eliminating any choice in the matter. BE WARNED!
By pmlager on 7/19/2011
I called La Bottega the other evening to make an 8:30 reservation, and they said the only time they could accommodate us was 8:00. When we arrived at 8, the hostess said they were adding two places to our table and we would be seated shortly. An hour and fifteen minutes later (after the hostess said they had had tables for us but other parties came in and the manager said to seat them first) we finally sat down. The manager was very nice and apologized not only for the hour+ wait but also for the poor handling of the situation on the part of the staff. We were given two complimentary cheese trays. In the end we split our check 8 ways (on 8 credit cards - one for each member of the party) and since it was such a large party 20% gratuity was included on the bill. Each of our bills were $47 including the tip, but because we were so appreciative of the complimentary appetizers, we each added $3 extra to all our our bills and charged an even $50 on our cards. However, when we all checked our bank statements today, $60 dollars had been charged to all 8 cards. The staff blatantly took advantage of us (even after we gave them $24 above the 20% added gratuity) and stole a total of $80 from our party. We have been calling constantly but only one person has even managed to get in touch with the manager (who had "left" at 7pm this evening). The manager told that person that he'd have to do some of his "own investigating." DO NOT GO HERE unless you want to be mistreated and robbed.
By userx on 6/19/2011
Placed an order for delivery. The hostess who answered the phone was lost, scattered and had no idea how to take down an order. I called one hour later, they apparently took down a wrong credit card number and a wrong phone number, and therefore decided to just not deliver my food. When I called they blamed me and were not the least bit apologetic.
By michelc on 8/18/2009
Nice summer place to dine al fresco! When ordering mineral water, just watch out! The waiter will serve you NYC tap water (filtered three times, apparently) with gas. We call that seltzer; they call it sparkling mineral water bottled at the source (stated on the bottle). NY tap waster, so strong you can smell the chlorine! Unbelievable! Just order a bottle of Chianti, unfiltered!
Best service we've ever had
By Jophesine on 6/10/2009
Back in April my husband and I ate at La Bottega. Although our meal order was taken quickly, no one brought us any water or asked us for our drink order. My husband was ready to make a fuss but just then a man appeared from nowhere and asked if there was a problem. We explained and he swung into action. First of all he brought the water to us, took our order to the bar and for the rest of the night was much in evidence. After commenting on his accent he told us his name is Adam and that he is from Australia. I don't know if it's the Australian way of doing things, but the entire evening he worked the floor, checking on every table to make sure everyone was happy. He served when it was really busy and chatted pleasantly with everyone. We found out later he is the General Manager! I read a lot of adverse comments about the service at La Bottega. My advice is to phone ahead and ask if Adam is there and you'll have a fantastic experience.
By foodcritic150 on 4/24/2008
I went on my birthday and we came early at 6:30pm on thursday thinking that we would not have any problems getting a table, but we were waiting over an hour to be seated. When I went to check on the status, the hostess was totally clueless and there were mobs of people waiting to get a table. I looked around the terrace and there were several empty tables. Clearly, the hostess was clueless about her job. This was the worst place I have ever been to. Do not bother going to La Bottega because you will not be able to get a table. They just want to make it look like its a happening place, but if you actually want to eat, you are better off going somewhere else.
Not worth going
By cburke52086 on 7/25/2007
I went the other night on a tuesday with no reservation and was seated right away. But from that point on, the service was terrible. It took our waitress well over a half hour to settle the check. The food was ok, but nothing outstanding. My date and I both had two appetizers and found the food a bit salty. Sitting outside was nice, but thats about all that was great.
The service was great!
By allikit229 on 3/12/2007
Our waitress Zoe, was fantastic!! I think she was the best waitress that I have ever had. We didn't wait long for food or cake, (it was my birthday) and she even brought extra candles. She took pictures of us and was basically on hand for anything we needed. I had read that La Bottega was known for ambience, not service, they are wrong, just ask for Zoe!
warm weather only
By TheBoyAboutTown on 2/9/2007
I wouldn't go here unless it were warm weather dining outside al fresco on the patio. Serivce was spotty for having parties at probably only 5 other tables. But, I am a sucker for pizza with truffle oil (which they have).
By badlyburnt1 on 1/11/2005
It was all the hype in the summer time, but the restaurant has been unable to adapt for a fall and winter menu.Unfortunately its menu remains stale and stagnant. All the beautiful people have left for the newest and hottest restaurant. La Bottega though great in the summer, catering to its customers desires(i.e. allowing smoking), does not do the same in the winter.The menu has not changed at all and thus is unable to maintain interest.The outside seating was great when it was in demand, and it was definately the place to be and to be seen, unfortunately it's lack of originality & obvious copy of Balthazaar's and Pastis architectural make up makes it nothing less than a duplicate of something else. The menu is bland, predictable, inconsistent and in the end very disappointing. La Bottega is definately the spot for spring and summer, but I have to take a pass in fall and winter. One bright spot is the staff, who are very knowledgable and helpful. Though most of the time they look as if they are simply trying to make the best of a bad situation.
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