Piazza Bella My Ass
Last night, Katie and I had a nice little dinner at Piazza Bella in Chicago's Roscoe Village neighborhood. We've been there a couple times before, and we have been pleasantly content after each prior visit. It really is a charming place. It's the kind of small italian restaurant where you're sitting too close to your neighbors.
Unfortunately, last night's dinner sucked. I didn't want to believe it during the meal, as I'm working on becoming a more positive person. But, Katie convinced me of it. It sucked. There was nothing we could do. There was no way we could have made it better. Even if we both had good attitudes during dinner (more to follow on why we didn't), it wouldn't have changed the things that made the dinner sucky.
First off, the waiter did not know what Lambrusco was. Do you know what Lambrusco is? If you don't, that's okay. If you're a waiter at an Italian restaurant, it's not okay. It's a nice and sweet red wine. It's tasty. It's something that tastes good with lasagna.
The bread and olive oil appetizer was quite nice with my Heineken. It really wouldn't make sense, but they didn't have a good selection of beer at all. I couldn't understand that. Why wouldn't a restaurant have a better selection of beer? They had, like Amstel Lite, Heineken, and not much else that would be worth purchasing. After Katie and I had ordered a Heineken, and after the waiter had brought us both our Heinekens, the waiter shows up with a bottle of wine in his hand...
Actually, we have a bottle of Lambrusco. We only sell this by the bottle, though. So, it's $25 if you want it.
Uhm, what an asshole. It gets better.
So, my lasagna comes old cold. It had a piece of melted cheese on top that wasn't completely melted. It was obvious. Katie's lasagna (yes, we got the same dish) came out just slightly warmer than mine, or Katie's tolerance for lack of food temperature was simply much higher than mine. I sent my dish back.
Can you please warm this up for me?
Katie got silent. She wasn't as talkative. Was it the fact that she was eating lasagna and I wasn't at that moment? No. Apparently, the woman sitting next to us decided that she wanted to start staring at Katie. I hardly noticed, but I wasn't really paying attention. I was actually trying to keep the conversation going, all the while Katie looking to see if some weirdo was staring at her. That really is a creepy feeling.
So, my lasagna comes out and the waiter sets it in front of me from slightly over my right shoulder. It's visibly hotter than its first appearance, and I'm still detecting the waiter in my peripheral vision. I look to Katie only to see her slightly perplexed as well. I actually had to tell the waiter that I'm sure it was hotter now. He was waiting there to see if I was going to burn my mouth off. Why would I just take a humongous bite while my plate is steaming and just got out of the oven?
It really was silly. This was just not a great experience. I'm sure I'll go there again, but it won't be for a long time. Stupid, uptight, Roscoe Village restaurant.