My college girlfriends get together for each of our birthdays. It seems common and simple yet it’s the best thing because it guarantees that no matter how busy we all get, we will get together at least a certain number of times per year….it used to be 6 of us, it is now 8 plus boyfriends. So my birthday dinner was a group of 13 and I decided on Barbounia because Lon had recently gone with Steve and Justin, and all 3 raved about the food and service.

The decor of the restaurant is magnificent. The co-ed bathrooms are gorgeous. Yet, the menu had changed and service was awful. It started from the beginning. Our table was a high table near the bar and even after 75% of us were seated, we couldn’t keep other people from sitting down at our table with their drinks. The hostess and waitress were all present during several occasions and did nothing to help us. We were left to ask people to move ourselves, which caused a couple of minor confrontations and at times people refusing to move at first.

Throughout the dinner, several of my friends were irritated by our waitress. She wasn’t polite and she couldn’t get our orders straight. At some point, a side of asparagus came that no one ordered. We figured that she had put the order in wrong because Lon had ordered a side of spinach and crispy prosciutto……so we inquired and she didn’t admit anything but his dish did come out a long time after the rest had arrived. It gets worse….I ordered a side of their fresh bread, which used to be an unlimited complimentary item, and is now $4 per piece. I wanted to try it because Lon had told me how good it was. While I was eating my entree, I reminded our waitress twice that our bread did not come out yet. Finally, on my last 2 bites, I told the waitress I didn’t want it anymore. She brought it 2 min later and said they won’t charge for it. (Duh, I already finished dinner.) Of course, if it’s there I’m going to eat it though. I guess they rushed it and didn’t finish cooking it because you could taste the yeast……not a good flavor.

The overall experience took away from being able to enjoy the food which was hit or miss anyway.

They did have a nice selection of mezes. The shrimp and sardine were just ok. The lamb orzo and the octopus were fantastic. Some people had ordered a couple of other mezes and when I asked Angie about them later, she said they were just ok.

I order the whole Branzino grilled. It was grilled really nicely but it’s not a fish I want to eat whole again. It’s very bony and annoying to eat. Lon ordered the halibut because they ran out of his first choice – Pompano. The Halibut was also cooked nicely and came with a very nicely flavored orzo and cherry tomatoes on top. No one was really wowed by anything. The portions were generous and plating was good but overall very disappointed because I had expectations. Lon was very disappointed that it was so different from just a couple of weeks ago. And, with a large party, 18% gratuity is added on to your bill, which normally I don’t mind but, this waitress did not deserve the $80. I’m not going back.

posted by jessica at 07:20 AM Filed under Mediterranean, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.