Add In A Chandelier But It's Still A Pizza Hut.....
Many people in our neighborhood spoke so highly of Sette that we had to give it a try. Plus an entrepreneur (Bradford) and two of his colleagues left Sette after many years to open Graze in the Whole Foods Plaza, which is a huge success. We thought that his legacy may have lived on.
Make no bones about it; Sette is a former Pizza Hut. Other than putting a chandelier in the center of the room, it’s still a Pizza Hut. Not that it’s a bad thing, but the décor is somewhat cold.
We were quickly seated at a two top that was part of a long, hard, wooden, pew-like setting. Although there was a cushion, all I could think of was the misery when I had been stranded at the 30th Street Train Station in Philadelphia – so uncomfortable.
We were quickly served a light olive oil and in-house baked bread that was really very good. I thought that we were off to a wonderful start.
As we perused the menu we decided to order an entrée and to split a Caesar salad. I am a big fan of veal dishes and find that Italian restaurants usually prepare them very well. Alexa approached the table to take our order. We ordered the Caesar salad and then I began to inquire about the veal dishes. She immediately told us that she would not recommend the veal and that “of all the dishes they serve, veal gets the most complaints.” “It’s just not good,” she continued. “It’s tough and I would not order it.”
My husband landed on the Pine Nut encrusted chicken (one of Alexa’s favorites), and I chose the Seafood Fettuccini. We waited a brief time before our salads were served and watched as the small restaurant began to fill up.
Our salad had been split for us on to two small plates, which was nice. We asked if the restaurant had anchovies, they did not. However, we were assured that the dressing had anchovies in it and was very tasty.
My first bite of the salad was disappointing as it was very bland. And, although the lighting was dim we began to notice that most of the lettuce was brown, and that most of it wasn’t the leaves but rather the “core” of the lettuce. We gave the salads back to Alexa.
If you think about it, a lot has to happen before our salads hit our table. First, someone had to either get the portion of Romaine, or portion the Romaine. Then they had to toss the Romaine in dressing, split the portion on the two dishes and add croutons and freshly grated cheese. Since the kitchen was well lit I found it very hard to believe that the quality of the Romaine went unnoticed. Is this what they always serve it? Bleech.
Our entrees were a mixed bag. My Seafood Fettuccini was hot, spicy and flavorful. No complaints on my end. But the Pine Nut Encrusted Chicken was a different story. If you’ve been reading along you know that I’m usually the one that has food envy when we go out. Without fail I always seem to pick the wrong thing off the menu. Tonight I definitely got the better meal for a change.
The “Balsamic reduction” was hardly reduced. The dish looked like two large chicken breasts sitting in an oil change. And unfortunately, its flavor also faltered. There was not a pine nut to be seen. The “crust” of the chicken was gummy and the procciuto was rubbery. The mashed potatoes and asparagus (all three stalks) were so infused with balsamic vinegar that they, and the entire dish, was almost inedible.
Again, someone on the expediter’s station saw this dish that looked that bad and decided to serve it to us.
It answered my question as to whether I would ever dine at Sette or “Sal’s” 6 other restaurants again, and the answer is no. We stopped at Harris Teeter on the way home so my husband could get something to eat. And after my “bench detail” at the table I felt like I was in need of a chiropractor. This is a restaurant to skip.
Some good, some bad.... Our waitress ervice was good, but Mgr attention was non existent during crisis. The crisis, two of five dishes were not well prepared. The Tuna special was overcooked and salty and had to be sent back to remake. The Eggplant Parm was probably the worst ever. It too was sent back, and something else was ordered. It had maybe one slice of eggplant and a one inch layer of ricotta and tons of mozzarella. The other dishes, Chicken Parm and the Tiger Prawn special were good. So two people sat while everyone else ate. Kind of throws things off. This is where no Mgr. came by to offer an apology or an explanation. Then the amazing fact they made sure they charged the additional $2 for the replacement dish. Most restaurants would have done something in the other direction. Very disappointed. Have been before, and went back. Now it's off the list. I realize all restaurants make mistakes time to time, but recovery with the patron is essential. There's was nonexistent.
some of the best Italian food I've had in the states. I love Italian food. I spent a year in Italy, so I get really excited when I have really good Italian food. This place is great. It's always busy, but we always manage to get a table really quickly. THe waiters are very professional and prompt. The portions are huge. We usually have leftovers. I reccommend having the lamb. I typically stick to the specials that they have, cause they are fresh (and u can tell the cooks like to make those dishes). I also reccommend having any of their desserts. They're huge. My husband's favorite is a pecan torte, and incredibly rich cake that tastes like coffee, chocolate, and nuts. I personally like the hummingbird cake and the key lime pie. This restaurant and I believe Mustard Seed and Boulevard Diner (also good places) and some other bakery are all owned by the same person. They all have good desserts.
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