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“Unfriendly service, terrible atmosphere, mediocre food” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Ancora

Ancora
261 Genesee St, Utica, NY 13501-3402
315-724-4815
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Ranked #16 of 142 restaurants in Utica
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Utica
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Unfriendly service, terrible atmosphere, mediocre food”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2010

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.

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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48 reviews from our community

76% Recommend
    25
    12
    3
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    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New York State
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Didn't meet expectations”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2009

My husband and I went here for my birthday - after many positive reviews from online and friends. I was greatly disappointed! The atmosphere was not for me (and thus, really shouldn't be held negatively): it is very small, the tables are extremely close together, offering little to no privacy. The service was awful - we had two different waiters, who, after our meals were served, NEVER came back to refill drinks or see how we were doing! The food itself was a let down - my husband enjoyed the calamari, although I was slightly disappointed (I thought it was bland - like most of the food was). We each had a different chicken dish - and both of us found them to be dried out and tasted more of oil than anything else. This restaurant is more hype than anything else - if you want a delicious meal in a nice atmosphere I would try a restaurant like Delmonico's, Bella Cucina, or one of the other several wonderful restaurants in the Utica area.

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Upstate New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Loved it! Fabulous food & Relaxing atmosphere. Forgot we were in Utica!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2009

Ancora exceeded our expectations! We had an incredible meal... great wine & great food. Started with the abundant Placa Fria, moved on to the Carpaccio (like Buttah!) and the Gogonzola Potatoes (soooo rich!), and finished with the Tiramisu (like a cocoa cloud!) Worked our way through the lovely wine list. We ate at the bar; enjoyed talking with Paul. Will definitely return!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Washington, DC
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“A Big City Restaurant in a Small Town”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2009

I grew up outside of Utica, NY and have been living in Washington DC and New York City for the last 15 years. I always make a point of visiting Ancora--it is one of my favorite restaurants of all the places I have traveled--in the world. The food speaks for itself--a constantly changing menu of fresh ingredients, made-to order steaks and paella, and AMAZING desserts (they're famous for their crepes). If that isn't enough to wow you, the service--often by the owners themselves--is attentive, and the ambiance is wonderful, with a very NYC bistro feel to it.

We got married in July and had our rehearsal dinner there--piles and piles of antipasti, with cured meats, roasted red peppers, olives and cheeses, followed by brick fired salmon and chicken, sugared fruit and homemade italian pastries....to die for. Our guests are still raving about it.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Clinton, NY
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Amazing!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2009

Went to Ancora for a birthday celebration and it was amazing! Everyone there was so hospitable and the food was amazing! Great menu to choose from. We had several seafood dishes which were cooked to perfection and seasoned so deliciously! The only slight drawback was that it is quite small. We were the only ones there (we went really early) so it was very quiet. I can see when there are several people there the akwardness would esily go away. If you're ever looking for a hidden gem try Ancora!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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