Casa di David, Singel 426, 1017 AV Amsterdam, http://www.casadidavid.com
Monsieur and I went to Casa di David on the recommendation of a Swissotel receptionist, who goes there frequently and couldn’t rate it highly enough. What a disappointment. We had an 8pm reservation on a Saturday night and because there was a crush of people trying to get in at the time we arrived, we weren’t even acknowledged (in spite of waving and smiling at any passing waiter) for around 20 minutes. Finally, we were led upstairs to a table in the midst of an attractive room decorated with a Tuscan theme. As we sat down, the table of 4 next to us finished their starters. We were promptly given a menu, then ignored for around 30 minutes. Meanwhile, our neighbours’ plates were not cleared.
I started to get cheesed off when 3 more couples arrived, were seated at different tables around the room, and were served straight away. Our attempts at attracting the attention of a waiter (there were 5 on deck, so no excuse of short-staffing) didn’t work. The other couples had placed their orders, received their drinks and were already waiting for their food. We were obviously invisible.
When we were finally deemed fit for a waiter’s time, the food came quite quickly; at least the starters did. Monsieur ordered a seafood casserole, which looked and smelled tasty, and I tucked into warm goat’s cheese with honey and berries. The goat’s cheese was superb. Then we sat and almost finished the (vastly overpriced) bottle of Italian white wine as we waited and waited and waited again for our plates to be cleared and the mains to arrive. If this was a ploy to encourage us to order a second bottle, as our neighbours had, then they failed.
My main was seppie di neri tagliolini but there was nothing -ini about it. It was tagliatelle. You’d think Italian restaurateurs would know the difference. It was served with a creamy seafood sauce, but there were only about 3 prawns and 3 scallops in the whole thing. Tasty, yes, but could I make it better myself? Definitely. For one thing, there would have been more than a cursory appearance of seafood. This sort of recipe is mainly down to fresh ingredients. It’s not rocket science.
When the mains arrived, I asked the waiter to bring the bill so we could settle up without another long wait. In a huffy tone, he told me to try the food first, just in case I didn’t like it. He didn’t check back later to see whether or not we were satisfied; he just ignored us again.
We eventually received the bill of 110 Euros. Ouch. That really hurt, especially given the current exchange rate. Around 40 Euros of the total was for the wine that we could have bought for a fiver in Sainsbury’s. It definitely wasn’t worth the splurge. We paid the exact amount in cash and left without tipping. As we walked down the stairs, I saw our designated waiter, who’d been so superb at ignoring us, run to our table, no doubt expecting something in appreciation of his vast lack of effort. He was to be disappointed. Not one member of staff said goodbye, good night or thank you to us on our way out. It was a highly expensive way to be treated appallingly, and rates as my worst restaurant experience for 2008.
Avoid, avoid, avoid.
I give one star for the goat’s cheese starter only. The potential of 4 more stars was lost due to too many waiters and not enough attention, and a VERY expensive wine list.