Fair warning: this is long. There are few pictures. You can get a short summary at the bottom! Hahaha
My first restaurant review! I (obviously) went out to dinner tonight and I was so excited to review a restaurant instead of cook. Ayza is a wine and chocolate bar, so it had to be good. Its on 31st Street between Broadway and 5th.
One of my friends had found a deal on facebook for a free glass of wine if you liked Ayza on facebook. Even though I can’t drink right now, I liked it and figured one of my friends could have the drink.
When I got there, it was really cute. My friends were sitting outside. There was a woman singing and a man playing the guitar. The waitresses had on plain black shirts with small white cat silhouettes on their right shoulders. The waitress came right over and asked us if she could bring us a drink.
Thats where the problem started. When I pulled out the coupon for a free drink, she rolled her eyes. I tried to just ignore it, but she her attitude got worse. She smirked when I ordered a Shirley Temple. She got irritated when we weren’t ready to order. She had snarky responses when we asked about the menu. I’ve never seen a “Tartine” section on a menu before, so I maintain it was a fair question. When one of us asked about the size of a cheese platter, she got annoyed and said she couldn’t describe it. She said it was 2 oz per type of cheese. Well, thanks, that helps me know if it will be sufficient for dinner. When we asked which cheeses she recommended, she listed all of them.
We would have let that go, but it got worse.
It took 45 minutes for our food to come. Four out of the six of us ordered cheese. One of my friends and I split a cheese platter and a smoked salmon tartine. None of that requires cooking. The people next to us came, ordered, and finished eating before we got our food. The waitress did come by 3 times to ask if we wanted any more drinks. Never once did she explain where the food was.
Finally, we asked the waitress. She said that it took a long time to cut the cheese because we’d order 5 individual cheese platters. I had to look away or I was going to laugh. The whole thing was just getting ridiculous. She walked away without giving us a sense of time or saying anything else.
One of my friends called over a manager who apologized and explained that it was a busy night. Our food came out very shortly after we spoke with him. Just after our food came out, he brought over free glasses of champagne. (I had a few sips. It was delicious. I’m paying for it now with a headache which I’m hoping I’ll sleep off.)
I thought about taking pictures of the food but a) I was hungry and b) I didn’t want to review the restaurant any more. The food looked great, but really, how can hunks of cheese on a wood block with caper berries, a strawberry and guava paste not look great? Now I kind of wish I’d taken a picture.
One of the girls did take a picture on her phone:
Once we got our food, we were all a little happier. Then everyone had a slight bit of a buzz, which cheered us up even more.
It turned out that the food was delicious. I split 3 cheese with a friend. We had a swiss cheese, which was average. We had a fancy parmesan cheese that was strong but great. The 3 cheese we split was a delicious blue cheese, creamy and flavorful and amazing. The guava paste with this cranberry bread was delicious.
We also split a smoked salmon tartine which was good too. Nothing as amazing as I was expecting but enjoyable.
Then the manager made it even better by giving us a tartufo. We split it between the 6 of us and it was great.
Here is the thing. If the waitress had been rude, we’d have let it go. If the food had taken forever and we’d have a polite waitress, we wouldn’t have minded. But both combined were a lot to take.
The food was good but I missed out on the 2 things that the bar specializes in: wine and chocolate. We ended up not ordering special chocolates after the tartufo.
(Turns out they get their chocolate from a chocolatier a block away from work… I’ll just go there!)
Sorry that was so long.
To sum up the 750 words I have so far: Ayza. Good food. Good cheese. Rude waitress with a ‘tude and overall poor service. I’d probably give it one more shot but I wouldn’t go so hungry.