After a wonderfully eventful evening in the West Village with my mom and younger brother, we decided to grab something to eat. As usual I was missing Italy and we happened to pass by Olio on our food hunt. I had heard quite a few things about Olio and it was raved about in Zagat as well as in reviews on Menu Pages.
With high hopes, you are sure to fall terribly on your face. We originally were seated outdoors but were moved inside once monsoon weather struck. The owner was friendly but clearly didn’t find us as appealing since he stuck us in a dark corner of the restaurant near the restrooms. We were then asked if we minded if a dog and it’s owners would sit next to us as to not disturb the “other” guests. As though our business clearly meant nothing…we were forced to sit with the dogs. Of course, we did have the opportunity to leave but the rain really compelled us to stay where it was dry.
I found many things of interest on this authentically Italian yet overly priced restaurant. My mom was not feeling well and desired soup and as far as the owner had informed us, minestrone soup was on the menu. After a dreaded 20 minute wait in which we were blatantly ignored, our server arrived. I ordered a red wine infused pear salad with mixed greens, a blueberry vinaigrette and fresh Gorgonzola cheese. My brother ordered a Filet Mignon served with decadently roasted herb potatoes. And my mom ordered minestrone soup…or so we thought.
The group next to us who we were OH SO LUCKY to be sitting next to with the dog had arrived about 20 minutes after we did and had already placed their orders, gotten drinks and even got their salad before us. If I didn’t know any better…I would assume that we were clearly not ideal customers. When I looked around everyone was dressed up, nose in the air and swirling their glasses of Chianti. A woman across from us was bombarded by a smorgasbord of specialities that definitely did not appear like they came from the menu. She had an air of arrogance about her as she nonchalantly picked up her fork and poked at her food. She even picked up a gossip magazine and acted like she really could give two shits about the food in front of her. And here we were drooling…hungry…and impatient.
After waiting 20 minutes we finally got the bread basket. Let me tell you, it was devoured within seconds. I immediately was repulsed by the fact I was not given Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar for dipping. I tore into the bread angrily since of course, I was famished.
The food finally came. I was given a beautiful presentation of this juicy pears all red and flavorful looking with all the spectacular wine absorbed into it. My brother looked contented with his meat and my mom…she was livid. The server claims he mentioned that there was no minestrone soup. As far as I can recall, he did no such thing. And as far as I know from the food business and businesses in general…the CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT. My mom sat there in utter disgust and dismay and refused to eat anything. I slowly poked at my salad which in all honesty was mediocre. It probably would have tasted better if the service and energy about the place was at least decent.
Will I ever go here again? Maybe. I might go and check it out without the family and maybe at an earlier time. But I must say I am hesitant. Don’t claim you’re about your customers if you don’t even pay mind to the ones coming in plain clothing. We like food just as much as the next snobby white collared person.
Seriously Olio…I give you a C+. You probably don’t even deserve that much.
Peace, love and NO beef.