First let me say, the food at Baia is very good indeed. We have dined here before and the food this time was every bit as good as in the past. However the skill of the chef and efforts of the kitchen staff were sadly compromised by the quality of their colleagues in the restaurant. We have eaten at Baia before and the restaurant staff always seem to be stressed, frantic and in such a rush it verges on panic! On this occasion the service was a real issue. Colin our waiter, appeared to be on commission for selling the most expensive wine regardless of it's suitability to the dishes we had ordered and also for pushing the day's specials (without mentioning the price) . He was also inappropriately demanding regarding the gratuity, something i have never encountered in any restaurant, anywhere before. The service was rushed, cold and impersonal but intrusive. At one point I had to get up to fetch our wine as our glasses were empty and our wine had been placed in a communal chilling bucket, that brought a hassled waiter racing across, but should not have been necessary in a professionally run establishment. We also found the restaurant chilled by cold draft due to the wind whistling though from one section to the other, nothing was done to remedy the situation until things started blowing off the table. At that point a door was finally shut only to left open again a few minutes later for the convenience of the waiting staff. Baia is neither so big nor was it so busy as to excuse the frenzied atmosphere or cursory, hectic service, other restaurants manage to deliver quality service as well as quality food - why can't Baia? Staff training is definitely an area needing attention.
We had intended to eat at Baia twice during our visit and were tempted to stick to that plan, the food is good, but we were so very disappointed in the service and since good food is not hard to find in CPT we booked elsewhere.
I would still recommend Baia for the food quality and for large groups on a "night out" but we were a table of three who found it lacking in any kind of atmosphere, we could live with that but our evening was spoilt by a waiter who was pushy, neglectful, invasive and irritating and I don't need to pay good money for that twice.
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