In a city that is known for top-notch Italian food, Ancora was surely a disappointment. Even arriving 15 minutes before an 8pm reservation, the servers could not be bothered to seat us (just a party of 3) until we prodded them about two open tables more than an hour later. Even then, they made moving a chair seem like a chore, and the incompetence and rudeness of the staff (I heard no less than two different waiters swearing under their breath) in addition to the too-small, noisy space did not make for a pleasant atmosphere.
Unfortunately, the food was similarly terrible. The confused menu (an Italian-Spanish fusion?) was a disappointment after such delicious lunches and treats from the chefs' other restaurant, Cafe Canole. The food was too often just breaded and fried, while being disguised under French and Spanish pseudonyms, while the ingredients were not at all fresh, and the seafood and meat were overcooked. The one bright spot of the meal were the desserts--true treats--though, by the end of the meal, it may have been too little, too late.
Kudos to the chefs for trying to bring a hip bar (which was well-stocked and well-attended) to Utica, but perhaps they should stick to what they do best: paninis and pastries.
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