Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Restaurant review: DeAnna's in Lambertville - tone deaf to customer's wishes

A great little Italian neighborhood restaurant in a great little NJ town... must be tried, we thought after reading several reviews of DeAnna's Bar and Restaurant.  So on a recent Thursday night, temporarily childless, we set off to the Delaware River and its shore town Lambertville, full of history, galleries and antique charm (and some rich New Yorkers too). We were a bit early, so we walked through town down to the wonderful little bar called The Boathouse.  Imagine a tiny boathouse, without a boat, but stuffed with rowing and other boat memorabilia, and about maybe 14 chairs total, cozy like crazy.  We sat at the bar, and had probably the friendliest and funniest bar tender (Marie, I think her name was) I have met.  Mmmm, margaritas!  Chatted with some locals, including a woman that had moved to the village Stockton, just a few miles north, a few months ago from New York City.  She had been to DeAnna's and said the decor was not her style, but the food was OK.  I should have known then what I know now, then we could have changed our plans.  But I get ahead of the story.

We walk back to DeAnna's, and inside we are seated at a small table for 2, and we immediately notice that there is a guy with a synthesizer in the corner maybe 6 feet away, but we aren't the closest table.  Hmmm,  I hope he won't play for a while, I am thinking.  We order antipasto, some wine, and our two pasta dishes.  This restaurant has only pasta made fresh each day and they are famous for it.  Then the guy starts playing. LOUD. And what kind of instrumental music was it?  The kind you hear in cheap hotel elevators, and just horrible, horrible.  I could have dealt with the music I guess, but only if I would have been able to hear what PP said across the table.  It was horrific!!! Old 70-80s tunes, partly prerecorded on 3.5 inch diskettes (I didn't think anyone used them anymore! maybe he really was from the 80s?).

We decided to bear it out, maybe he would stop soon.. when then waitress came back, we asked if we could change table because the music was too loud for us.  She said there were no other tables (we saw several empty... hmpf!), but she would ask him to turn it down.  Which he did.  For 5 min.  Then it was loud and horrible again. It was like he was some kind of leftover, overheated dish from the 80s, the synthesizer guy I mean.  In fact, he was kind of coordinated with the absolutely amazingly tasteless metal/sparkle/glitter/flower arrangements that were on the wall.  They looked like something out of a Las Vegas hotel, very American and very cheap.  Made in China, spraypainted with glitter. The exact opposite to European style.  I wanted a nice, quiet, cozy, Italian restaurant with great food, not this... I mean, a nice piano in the corner playing classical music would have been fine...  or even a synthesizer set as a piano sound playing classical music.  No, instead it was fake harps, violins, swooshing and humpybumping.  Bothersome music...

We got our antipasto, which probably was the best antipasto I have ever had.  Especially the grilled eggplant.  Wonderful food, really worth the money.  The bread wasn't anything special I thought... Dry dinner rolls with whole wheat in them. Our pasta arrived, I hade seafood Fra Diavolo (seafood in spciy tomato sauce), and PP had pasta with prosciutti and peas in a creamsauce.  His dish was fantastic, mine was OK.  It was missing something, I am not sure what.  But the whole time we ate the music was there gnawing in our ears, and we couldn't have a normal conversation... it was jsut awful.  When we were done with dinner, I told PP - "lets go and have dessert at another restaurant, I just want to LEAVE".  We paid and left, just a little more than an hour before we got there, which is not like us at all.

I found out today that Thursday's are music night at this restaurant, but I didn't see that when I looked at the website in advance, neither did they tell me that when I booked the table in advance.  And when it was clear that the music bothered us, why didn't they move us?  Now they have two customers that are really unhappy instead, and one of them is writing about it on this blog for everyone to see. It would have been so easy to place us in the little room off to the side below the bar, where there was plenty of tables and not one customer.  Oh well, live and learn... Next time we are going to Hamilton's Grill in Lambertville instead.

PS.  If someone from DeAnna's is reading this, I hope you understand how bothered we were by the music.  It destroyed our experience, I am sorry to say.  But the food was great! Next time, if there is a next time, we are not coming on a Thursday.

No comments: