I had been looking forward to spending Thanksgiving at Buona Sera for eight weeks. My kids are grown and as regular customers, it seemed like a great idea to book this place for a party of eight. Wrong! While visiting a few days before the holiday, I asked a favorite waiter where the buffet would be held. He said upstairs, which was great! Lots of holiday atmosphere, nice natural lighting, comfy round tables, etc. So as we entered, we were quickly ushered to a lower bar area that is ultra casual, dark and dank looking. No votives on the rectangular table in the furthest corner of this room. Within 10 inches of the table were extra chairs stacked in a tower, an eyesore and not too festive. The buffet table was located in the center of the room in a square formation. So, number 1, the table/location was unappealing. Next, to the food. Everything, with the exception of the raw bar, was cooked 'well in advance' and was either mushy/soft or ultra dry from standing. As I am accustomed to the food being very good, I almost felt like the chef/management had gone elsewhere to bring in this food from a local diner. Turkey cleaned out of its platter except for scraps, stuffing too hard to chew and oversalted eggplant rollatine. The raw bar was passable, aside from the shrimp that were medium sized, undercooked and not cold enough. To top this off, salad/dessert plates were offered instead of an 11" standand dinner/buffet plate, so it was almost impossible to get more than two ounces of anything on the plate. My 86 yr old mom with arthritic knees had to limp up and down to the food table.... just not acceptable. The pies offered for dessert looked like Sara Lee and since I am used to shopping locally for pies/cakes/pastries, it was apparent the establishement was looking for cheap dessert alternatives and so were far from appetizing. We had to flag down the waiter to get anything more than water, and the coffee was served up sparingly with no offer of a second cup. Instead of conversing and catching up with my family as I had hoped to do, the overall experience just made me want to skip the small talk and go home. With a bill for $500, this day was a shame thanks to Buona Sera of Red Bank, New Jersey.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.