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“Awful experience”
Review of Davanti Enoteca

Davanti Enoteca
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Ranked #256 of 9,602 Restaurants in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Loomis St. and Taylor St.
Level 6 Contributor
93 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Awful experience”
Reviewed August 17, 2012

Wow... can service get any worse than this place? Called in advance to make a reservation since could not find it on the website. They don't take reservations. OK. Person on the phone suggested they fill up around 6:30 but before that ok. so we came 6:15, as early as we could. Guess what? No tables. It wasn't the fact that they had business, no one can predict a rush and we wait our turn. It was how it was handled. When I told the Hispanic Manager what he or his people said on the phone he did nothing to assure us he would try and help. That's all you need to do, tell customer you'll do what you can, be empathetic. Instead he was throwing 30-45 min wait in our face. So we went to the bar. Couldn't seem to get service there either. One bartender doing service bar and the bar rail. No personality, no welcome, no friendliness. Almost left at this point. Finally has asked what he could get us. So we ordered drinks, got them, then miraculously 10 mins after checking in the table was ready!! Hooray. It was a bar table but that was just fine with us. The female Server approached, saw we had drinks and spoke about the menu. Seemed very nice. We placed an order for salumi & cheeses which were good. (Cheese portion was small). We next ordered a pizza and a salad. For $12 the pizza was a pretty good value. Salad was excellently done as well. We then ordered a pasta as our last course to share among the 3 of us. When it showed up it was less than a 1/4 pound of spaghetti. Cost = $.25 (if even that much). For $11 it was clearly overpriced. No meat/fish protein, just pasta, oil, cheese and probably less than 1 egg in it. Well I asked the server what the price was again and was this normal portion? She said yes and basically she had no control over that. I then complained that this was not worth price they were charging for it and I would prefer she inform management and bring a more reasonably sized normal $11 pasta portion. We understand tasting to be somewhere in between appetizer and entree sized. This was clearly less than an $11 appetizer portion. She went off and spoke to the chef who appeared to be expediting. Then she must have informed the Manager. We wait. Finally I flagged down the bad Manager and stressed my disappointment with the value of this dish and he indicated I could leave now if I like. He went away and nothing. I finally flagged down the server who was avoiding the table and asked about the followup and she said they would not be bringing any more pasta but rather would be bringing us the check. OMG!!! Can you believe? Finally the owner-partner showed up at the table and apologized for how things were handled. Little late but he was nice enough. He offered to do something, to bring us an after dinner drink, something. At least he tried, he was willing to listen to our story, he was genuine, he heard us out which neither the Hispanic Male Manager nor the bad server were willing to do. Clearly he got it, the customer has to leave satisfied. He also indicated he felt the pasta portions were too small but I guess others of importance there are sticking to their guns and not listening to the other partners, managers, servers nor most importantly the customers. Clearly this is not the first complaint they have received. The chef was 5 feet away but never bothered to come over. Not his job to deal with customers I bet! All this over a $.50 or $1.00 portion of pasta that I was more than willing to pay the $11 for (and did for the half portion). A tasting portion is what we received we were told. OK but there wasn't enough for 3 of us to taste. Talk about stupidity Chef... The fabulous shaved hearts of palm salad we received was probably more than quadruple the cost of goods of the pasta dish. Just make more damn pasta. It's cheap, filling and leaves customers full and satisfied. This certainly feels like a place where you eat what (and how much) the chefs wants you to, not what customer wants. Wake up Chef! Wake up owners! Get rid of that bad manager and that bad waitress--they are not service professionals and listen to your customers. What is otherwise good tasting, well prepared food is left hanging in the face of horrible front of house experience. Read the other comments on here.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank jgdcil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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221 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington, DC
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
100 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Great food; very loud”
Reviewed August 6, 2012

Excellent and very different Italian. Ricotta and honey comb is superb, as is the Mascarpone polenta and ragu. The bruschetta with toppings was very tasty, as was the Uovo in Ravioli “San Domenico”. The Montepulciano by the glass was wonderful. The creamy house made limoncello made for a wonderful liquid dessert.

Next time we will have to try some of their other specialties.

They have a no-reservation policy which seems to work well for them. This is a neighborhood restaurant but they get people from as far away as Rockford (45 minute drive).

The only negative is the noise level. On a Saturday night, the noise level from the multiple conversations was almost deafening. And the tables are not even that close together. That's not enough to put me off the place, but if you're looking for a nice quiet dinner spot, this is not it.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Rockrolex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Tapas Italian Style”
Reviewed July 23, 2012

Loved this place. Great for a group. The waiter suggested we each order 2 dishes. We ordered a few extra to cover everything the group wanted to try. Everything was great, especially the Beef Ragu and Polenta. Will definitely go back. Since they do not take reservations, we went around 5:30 and had no problem getting a table. We crossed the street afterward to the funky wine bar afterward where a jazz trio was playing.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank DJMChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munster, Indiana
Level 6 Contributor
310 reviews
139 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Every bite was delicious!”
Reviewed July 10, 2012 via mobile

We took our waiter's suggestions and he was right...every dish was outstanding. The Pizza Della terra was amazing! The pasta with sausage delicious. The eggplant in a jar and zucchini flowers yummy. The only bad comment is that the place is too noisy. Don't expect easy conversation....just eat... The wine topped off a great meal.

Thank MamaG3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Can't go wrong with the roof!”
Reviewed June 26, 2012

You can literally follow your nose to their front door - this place smells just that good! The main floor/restaurant is dimly lit and VERY loud, but it is worth the wait to dine on their roof. (If you are going to wait go half a bock east to Three Aces for a drink, they'll call you when a table opens).

The roof is very different from the main restaurant. Think holiday lights, casual, "back-porch" kind of vibe. Being up here just has that special kind of feel to it.

The service was wonderful and the food was amazing!

Some stand-out items for our group of six were;
-Ricotta & honey comb vasi
-Lamb ragu (it was the special that day) and polenta board
-Cherry tomato, burrata & pesto salad (amazing!)
-Roasted corn salad

The delle Terra pizza was good but definitely overshadowed by the rest of the items.

We also had a wonderful risotto which came with an egg in the middle. The name escapes me now, but it was so creamy we were all fighting over who got the last bite.

Between the atmosphere, wonderful service and the incredible food this place it a must! Great for groups and more intimate parties. I'll be back for sure!

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank HSimpson01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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