By Madame Broccoli
Il Vesco Vino: Friendly to children and vegetarians but far too expensive for either!
Perhaps I was particularly crabby having turned 42 years old, but at last night’s birthday celebration I was not all that impressed with my experience at Il Vesco Vino, dining outside in their newly opened patio. The service was very good and the staff friendly, in particular to my charming three-year-old son, Miles, but it was not the right choice. The evening was kept relatively short because Miles decided to sit at the bar with a glass of water and flirt with the pretty bartender for most of dinner. This, of course, would have been fine (even encouraged) except that he alternated between five minutes in the bar chair and climbing through the rock garden! However, in a very short period of time we managed to accumulate a bill exceeding $100—and this for just two adults and one small child! Just to give you some perspective, our selections included a child’s size portion of pasta, one glass of milk, two glasses of $8.00 wine, one appetizer and two entrees. No frills and excesses here.
Now, if the experience had been thrilling and food excellent or if I were celebrating my 22nd birthday rather than 42nd and my date did not share my bank account, I would not have given it a thought but this was not the case. The appetizer was the best thing about the meal. My husband and I shared a very generous starter from the “fried snacks” portion of the menu, Arancini—ragu rice balls stuffed with mozzarella and spicy tomato garlic sauce. For my entree, being a vegetarian who generally avoids seafood, it was a difficult choice. My only real option was the Alaskan halibut (I will only eat fish from a “chemical free” source) and the one noted on the menu, served with spicy smoked pancetta and cauliflower orzo sounded pretty good. However, that option was not available and I instead had to order the Alaskan halibut from the “specials” which included sides of corn and a grapefruit sauce side which sounded horrendous, but I was trying to keep an open mind. The halibut was cooked to perfection but the sides were not, in my opinion, palatable. Extremely spicy and not very good. No water was served with the meal, forcing me to initially guzzle my $8 wine until I caught the attention of my server and requested water with the meal. My husband ordered some sort of meat item and being a vegetarian I just looked away. He requested it be cooked medium and it arrived medium rare (even more appalling for a vegetarian so I continued to avert my eyes). He placed his sides on my plate because he despises vegetables (with the exception of “Madame” broccoli, of course!). According to the menu, the side was to be creamed potatoes but clearly they were not. I consider potatoes to be my absolute favorite food item on the planet and yet I could not eat them.
The staff was so very sweet to my little boy but I am afraid he will have to wait until he has his driver’s license to return. I am sure the bartender will have moved on by then (as well as Il Vesco Vino) but he can dream about her in the meantime. No doubt, she will be conducting a train rather than serving drinks! My recommendation would be to stick to Il Vesco Vino as a place to meet friends for a glass of wine and some appetizers. Anything more may be pushing your luck and pocket book.