Thursday, November 08, 2007

Bravo Cucina Italiana

I thought I would rate the experience we had at Bravo Cucina Italiana on Hayden Run Road in Columbus, Ohio last week. My brother is a chef there so my husband and I go there quite frequently as does the rest of my family. We decided to have dinner there because my brother had given me coupons to use that were good through October. Though we usually try to go when my brother is working, the night we went in, he was not there. My brother always wants me to tell the server, host, etc., that I am his sister to try to get free food , but I do not like doing that. When I go to Bravo, I am a paying customer like every one else.

Anyway, the evening we went in we were given a waiter that I was not thrilled with. He had never served us before, and I did not like his style. I was surprised, as we normally get great service there. We asked for bread while we looked over our menu, which our server brought. Bravo serves bread with olive oil, but the olive oil has a mix of sun dried tomatoes and herbs in it that the staff calls the "guts". We love the "guts". The oil our server brought us didn't have any of the "guts" in it(or very little) so I asked the server if we could have more "guts". Since my brother works there, I know that they have more "guts" without oil in the back. The kitchen staff puts the "guts" in the oil themselves. If a customer wants more, all the server has to do is go to the refrigerator and scoop out more. Instead, our server told us that he didn't think he could give us more "guts" than any one else because it would throw off the "distribution" for all the other guests but he would "see what he would do". He brought us more oil with a little more "guts" but not much. I think all he did was pour it from a different bottle.

My husband Adam texted my brother jokingly saying that Bravo is stingy with its "guts". My brother quickly got caught up with what was going on and was not pleased with the situation. By this time we had moved onto our entrees. My brother quickly called the store and let one of the chefs know what was going on. I certainly did not ask my brother to do any of this. It really was not a big deal to us, but apparetnly it was a big deal to Bravo. We began getting our 6 month son ready to leave when the manager came up to us. By this time we had already paid our bill. The manager told us that he wanted to take care of our dinner. I felt so bad, that was not my intention at all which I let the manager know. We told him several times that it really was not necessary but he insisted over and over, so we finally gave in. I was impressed that whether I was family or not, the manager and other employees took so much pride in their service.

I also did not like this servers manners but perhaps that is just me. My husband and I are grammar snobs sometimes and get irritated when educated adults use poor grammar (though I am sure I am commas in wrong spots through out this review, but I was never good with commas). When asking if I was finished with my plate, the server just said, "You done with that?" Maybe I am being too picky, but I would have preferred to hear something along the lines of "Are you finished with your plate ma'am?"

I would also like to mention that my husband Adam had a new scallop entree that was delicious! The scallops were pan-seared on top of gnocchi with sweet potatoes on the side. It was probably one of the best dishes we have had there.

My point to this review is not to critique the food but mention the excellent service. My brother told me a story of how Bravo will always go out of their way for a guest. He was working a very busy Friday night when one of the head Chefs told him that he needed to run across the street to the local grocery store for a jar of pickles. My brother was confused by why they would need a jar of pickles. Apparently there was a couple dining who had their baby with them and forgot to bring pickles, one of the baby's favorite things to eat. So my brother went and bought a $5 jar of pickles for the baby. Is this kind of service going over the line? Maybe, but if they are willing to do it, that is up to them. I think it is nice that there are businesses out there that still value their customer.