We were looking forward to a pleasant dining experience, and on entering Patrona thought we had found it. Very nice, clubby atmosphere with a big bar at the end of the room and a decked outside seating area, which is where we chose to sit, it being a mild May evening. Unfortunately, being seated promptly was the last thing that went right. We waited approximately 15 minutes for someone to even come and ask if we wanted a drink. In fact, I had gotten up and walked to the bar to order our drinks myself when the manager saw me and said he'd sent someone over, at which point our waiter materialized. After another 10 minutes or so, a different waitress came and asked if we were waiting to order. We told we did want to order but were also hoping our drinks would eventually arrive. I had the feeling she was concerned about our waiter also, as she took our appetizer order and said she would check on our drinks. After that our waiter finally appeared with our cocktails, and also took our dinner order. My wife asked if the Parducci Chard was buttery or stainless, and he didn't know but said he would check with the bartender. That was the last we saw him until he came back to our table to say our food would be out shortly. My wife reminded him that she had asked about the Chard, and he said the bartender said it was buttery (which was what she wanted) so he went ahead and placed the order without coming back to discuss it. She was actually okay with that although I thought it was odd. I had to remind him that he had never taken a wine order from me. He did manage to get both glasses out about the same time that our meals came.
Regarding the food. I ordered lamb shank on polenta which came with spring vegetables in a mint glaze. The lamb was well prepared, falling off the bone as it should be. Unfortunately, instead of making the cooking juices into a reduction, as is usually done with this dish, it was just served with the juices, losing some of the richness that really makes lamb shank delicious. The menu said creamy polenta, but it was more gummy than creamy. The vegetables in the mint glaze were probably good, but they served them in the bowl with the lamb shank and polenta, and the juice from the lamb completely overwhelmed the delicate mint. This meal needed to either have been served on a flat plate, or the vegetables needed to have been on a separate small plate. Too bad, really, because in so many ways it was close to being a wonderful meal that really missed for a number of easily correctable oversights. My wife ordered chicken Cesar salad that came well presented with whole romaine leaves criss-crossed on the plate, drizzled with dressing and a reasonable number of chicken slices and shaved Grana. However, she said the Cesar dressing lacked presence, which was her kind way of saying it didn't have much flavor. Definitely needed garlic, and my wife added salt. A dressing that is made with anchovy paste should not need any extra salt added at the table!
This was not an inexpensive meal by any means, and definitely over-priced for the quality. But the terrible service really made it a disappointing evening. I doubt we'll go back.
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